J.P. Ricciardi wants to get fired

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He’s never been good at P.R., and there’s a sense that he’s already toast anyway, but the Blue Jays’ GM now seems to be begging for unemployment:

“Let me make this clear: It doesn’t matter if J.P. Ricciardi is the GM,
or Joe Blow is the GM. Two years from now, five years from now, seven
years from now, the reality that we face in Toronto is the division is
not going to change,” Ricciardi said in an interview this week. “The
Red Sox and Yankees are not going away. If the Yankees want to, they
can take their payroll to $300 million . . .I get this feeling that people are dying for me to lose my job, they
think my world is going to come crashing down. I’m not built like that.”

All of that may be true. But when you’re the GM of a baseball team, it’s not good business to (a) provide quotes which basically give the entire fan base permission to stop hoping and caring; and (b) tell your bosses that being fired wouldn’t bother you a bit.

Ricciardi should have been let go a couple of years ago. I have little doubt that he’ll be let go a couple of weeks from now.

Adrian Beltre cleared for extended spring training

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Adrian Beltre has been on the disabled list all year because of nagging right calf strain, but he’s about to take a big step toward getting back to action.

Beltre has been cleared to begin playing in extended spring training games. He’ll commence them tomorrow at the Rangers facility in Surprise, Arizona. After three games the team’s doctors will reevaluate him. If things go well, he’ll likely be sent off for a full minor league rehab assignment.

Joey Gallo has filled in for Beltre all season, bringing a lot of power but not much else to the table. While Beltre is 38, his all-around game would be welcomed back on the field and his leadership would be welcomed back in the Rangers clubhouse. On a personal note, Beltre is only 58 hits shy of 3,000 for his career.

Barring a setback, he’ll be back with the big club in early June and will hit the milestone eventually.

Michael Bourn opts out of his minor league deal with the Orioles

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Outfielder Michael Bourn was traded by the Diamondbacks to the Orioles late last season and hit a solid .283/.358/.435 in 55 plate appearances with them through the end of the season. While that’s not enough to outweigh the miserable season he had in Arizona, it was enough to get the O’s to give him a look in spring training with a minor league deal. They signed him to one in late February.

Then, a couple of days later, Bourn broke his finger while playing catch with a football. Unable to play, the O’s cut him. In early April, once Bourn healed, the O’s signed him again. He played 11 games for their Triple-A affiliate and went 9-for-41 with ten walks in 51 plate appearances. While that makes for a decent OBP, his lack of any sort of pop or good contact suggests that if someone throws him strikes, he can’t do much with the ball.

As such, the O’s had not called him up to Baltimore. And as a result of that, Bourn exercised his opt-out rights and became a free agent.

Someone may take a look at him given that his batting eye seems to be intact and given that, in an admittedly small sample size, he still performed last season. But if he does get a look, it’ll likely be back at the minor league level.