Jordan has already linked to the latest waste of newsprint by "Dr. Doom" of the Toronto Star, but today's Richard Griffin column is so offensive, I'm compelled to express my disgust on Page One of our little blog.
Griffin's piece compares a Mexican bird-dog, who stumbled over one all-star, to J.P. Ricciardi, whose expertise at assessing talent for the A's is well-documented, but conveniently ignored. Also omitted, in feeble support of the ludicrous assertion that Dodger scout Mike Brito (after 20 years) and the Jays' GM (after 12 months) are "tied" with one discovery each, are J.P.'s brilliant addition-by-subtraction moves (most notably the "untradeable" Mondesi) and his 2002 draft, praised by Baseball America as the best of any front office in the game.
The professional axe-grinder inserts a reference to "Gord Ash's young core group" -- when Ash was in Griffin's cross-hairs, does anyone remember even such faint praise? His characterization of Pete Walker as a "roll of the dice" and all free agents as "cheap, rejected players" serves Griffin's strange obsession with biting the hand that feeds him, but insults his readers' intelligence.
I suppose if limp Dick ran the ballclub, he would have identified Walker as the most useful addition to a depleted staff -- the real Ash legacy -- from among the waiver-wire dregs. Yeah, right. And instead of giving J.P. credit for his superb parlay of a 40-year-old reliever on the verge of retirement into cheaper, younger, better Cliff Politte, he implies that was all Ed Wade's idea. Also slipping what's left of the columnist's mind was the Jays' scoop, from the Royals, of Corey Thurman, who remains an excellent prospect. The facts never get in the way of a typical Griffin display of envy.
It does take more than one smart deal to seal a reputation as a baseball genius; that's the only line in the column I agree with. And Ricciardi, in a year and a day, has already made more of those than his predecessor did in nearly a decade, or certain columnists could in a lifetime. By saying "Jays fans wait patiently for the next Hinske," the venomous one suggests the GM has done just one thing to improve his team, and makes the illogical inference that nothing else positive will ever happen.
Consider the source: an obnoxious jerk who thinks Miguel Tejada is more valuable than Alex Rodriguez. It takes at least one impartial column to seal a reputation as an astute baseball analyst; I wonder if we'll ever read one in the Star.