Wednesday, July 30, 2008

J.P. Ricciardi remains bad at general managing.

It's a testament to the shabbiness of the Toronto Blue Jays fanbase that they've yet to give J.P. Ricciardi the full John Ferguson treatment and get him fired. Sure, there are die-hard Blue Jays fans just as there are die-hard D.C. United fans. But in a town where the Leafs are king, a hardly relevant baseball team isn't going to draw significant media coverage -- and it won't as long as J.P. Ricciardi is in charge.

Ricciardi has already had an unconscionably bad year, including jettisoning still-useful Frank Thomas and crushing Adam Dunn -- both of these players could really help the Jays, by the way -- but the stark dichotomy between the seasons of Scott Rolen and Troy Glaus should fuel the ultimate slow burn for anybody still watching Jays baseball.

To wit, when they were swapped in January (as the Canadians call it), both were seen as damaged goods. Rolen had two bum shoulders, Glaus' body was breaking down because of past steroid use. Both started poorly, Rolen on the DL with a "finger," Glaus wearing glasses to combat his "allergies."

Through May, Rolen had the higher OPS and played the better defense. But since then, Glaus has kept it close with the glove -- John Dewan has him at plus-13; Rolen is a ludicrous plus-22. But Glaus has crushed Rolen offensively in the summer months, hitting 15 home runs to Rolen's four and putting up .927 and .991 OPS's to Rolen's scores of .859 and .457. On the whole, Glaus has an .864 OPS and 18 home runs to Rolen's .749 and six home runs. Glaus' offense more than makes up for his "deficiency" with the glove. Their Win Share totals also reflect this: Glaus is at 15, Rolen at seven.

By most statistical measures, Troy Glaus has been the superior player. Then there's this: While the two players cost virtually the same amount from year to year, Glaus' contract expires after 2009, while Rolen is locked down through 2010. Which is bad news since his ludicrously predictable shoulder breakdowns have returned.

Glaus is a huge reason the Cardinals remain in the race for the NL Central. Offensively, he's been everything the team expected. Defensively, he's been better than advertised.

Rolen is still a dominant defensive player, but he hits like a catcher.

There's no question J.P. Ricciardi lost this deal.

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