TORONTO — Toronto Blue Jays General Manager J.P. Ricciardi apologized to Cincinnati counterpart Walt Jocketty over critical comments he made on a Toronto radio station about Reds outfielder Adam Dunn.
”It's my fault, I take full responsibility for it,“ Ricciardi told The Globe and Mail newspaper of Toronto on Thursday. ”I tried to get Adam's phone number from the Reds ... and if he wants to talk to me, I'll talk to him and apologize personally. But I apologize to him and the Reds. I need to be better than that. I let my guard down“.
Dunn responded angrily Thursday after learning that Ricciardi questioned Dunn's passion for playing during the GM's weekly call-in show on Toronto radio station The Fan 590 on Wednesday night.
”I know nothing about this clown. I have no idea who he is,“ Dunn told reporters in Cincinnati early Thursday, before the Red played the Dodgers. ”I don't really care what one guy thinks, to be honest with you. If I'm a GM, I don't know if I would go out of my way to kind of discredit a player.“
Ricciardi offered a brutally frank response to a caller wondering if the Blue Jays had any interest in trying to acquire Dunn, who is making $13 million in the final season of his contract.
”Let me ask you something. What do you know about Adam Dunn?“ Ricciardi said to the caller. ”He's a lifetime .230, .240 hitter that strikes out a ton and hits home runs.
”Do you know that the guy really doesn't like baseball all that much?“ Ricciardi continued. ”Do you know the guy doesn't have a passion to play the game that much? How much do you know about the player? There's a reason why you're attracted to some players and there's a reason why you're not attracted to some players. I don't think you'd be very happy if we brought Adam Dunn here. ...
”We've done our homework on guys like Adam Dunn and there's a reason why we don't want Adam Dunn. I don't want to get into specifics.“
Dunn didn't hear Ricciardi's comments, but read a transcript of them.
”He doesn't even know me. If he knew me, fine, say what you want,“ Dunn said. ”This guy doesn't know anything about me, other than what he sees on whatever "SportsCenter' they have up there. That's it.“
The Reds come to Toronto for a three-game interleague series starting Tuesday, but Dunn doesn't see it as an opportunity for payback.
”The players didn't say anything,“ said Dunn. ”It was some clown sitting in the front office pushing paper.“