Friday, July 6, 2007

JP Ricciardi Needs To Learn The Difference Between "Good Free Agent Signings" And "Signing A Bunch of Injury Prone Disasters"

JP Ricciardi is very familiar with this fella.

Let me pose this question to the audience at large: If you are buying real estate in Southern California and you look at some beautiful hillside property in Palmdale, CA, right next to the San Andreas fault, and the price seems a little more reasonable because of the history of earthquakes in the area but the upside is great because it's a great view and an up and coming real estate market, and you buy it; if there is an earthquake the following year and your house is destroyed, do you blame yourself for assuming the risk? Or do you blame the house for not being strong enough or mother nature for being so unpredictable? If you're JP Ricciardi, you blame everyone but yourself.

Yesterday, on Toronto's WFAN 590am, Blue Jay's GM JP Ricciardi had the balls to suggest to the folks in radio land that AJ Burnett's injuries were all in his head and he just needs to get over it and start pitching:
"I don't know if it's psychological, I don't know if it's just he gets to a point he feels something and he's been so scarred by being hurt so many times that he just backs off. But I think he's going to have to get over that hump at some point and just maybe pitch through some pain or realize what the difference is between really being hurt and not being hurt."
It seems that JP is calling Burnett a pussy. Ricciardi I can't say I necessarily disagree, but I do disagree with the idea of Burnett not realizing the difference between "really being hurt" and "being hurt" where you can just pitch through it. But then Ricciardi went on to say if he knew in 2005 when he signed Burnett what he knows now, he would not have signed him. What about Burnett has changed since then? Check out this article from May of 2003 regarding Burnett's injury history:
If you play fantasy baseball, you are most likely familiar with Dr. James Andrews, and if you are, you also know that you most assuredly do not want any of your players associated with him. It's nothing against Andrews, one of the finest and most well respected sports physicians in the world. Unfortunately, his name is synonymous with serious injuries, such as the increasingly common "Tommy John" surgery.

It was reported on April 28 that oft-injured Marlins starting pitcher A.J. Burnett would undergo elbow surgery to help repair a torn ligament. A day later Florida placed him on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 26. After initial doubts as to whether reconstructive surgery would be required, Dr. James Andrews performed the surgery made famous by former All-Star hurler Tommy John on April 29. Andrews had discovered that the ulnar collateral ligament in Burnett's arm was fully torn. Upon hearing the unfortunate news Marlins manager Jeff Torberg summed up his thoughts by remarking, "Sick, just sick."

Although considered by many to be injury-prone, this will easily be Burnett's most difficult injury to overcome to date. He is expected to miss 12-18 months...

Burnett's final start came April 25 at home against St. Louis... Subsequent to the game however, he noticed inflexibility and inflammation in his elbow. This was a red flag for Burnett, who despite staying virtually injury-free in 2002, had a history of recent troubles staying healthy. A similar injury occurred in 2001 when he missed almost a month in September because of inflammation in his elbow.

....he [Burnett] did miss 29 games in 2001 due to a broken right foot, Burnett made an impression on the Marlins by winning 11 games with a 4.06 ERA.

However, progression after "Tommy John" surgery does vary, and Burnett is a young, strong, hard-working pitcher. Notable success stories of late after having the surgery include Kerry Wood of the Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Morris.
So four years ago, as this article suggests, AJ Burnett was considered injury prone BEFORE HE BLEW OUT HIS ELBOW AND HAD TOMMY JOHN SURGERY. And now, JP Ricciardi is blaming Burnett for not pitching through pain. Are you fucking kidding me? JP, YOU FUCKING SIGNED THIS GUY WHEN YOU KNEW HE WAS A HUGE injury risk. So you've got some big fucking balls to blame him for being injured (or thinking he's injured). You bought the house on the hill in the earthquake zone. That house is probably not salvageable no matter how much you yell at it or mother nature. YOU took the gamble and YOU lost. Maybe it's time for YOU to move on.

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