At the risk of (once again) being labeled and apologist, we just don't get the inevitably angry reaction to everything and anything J.P. Ricciardi says or does.
If Roy Halladay had been traded yesterday for the package that the Phillies were willing to offer (i.e. without Kyle Drabek coming back), J.P. would have been roundly criticized for not maximizing the return on Halladay. But now that the Phillies have decided not to overwhelm the Jays and instead went with a much more affordable option in Cliff Lee, people are accusing Ricciardi of...well, basically, everything. Not pushing hard enough to get a deal done; not having a plan; having too many plans; covering his ass; going back on his word...really, people just want to think that J.P. is either evil or inept (and probably both) and that this team is imploding becuase of him.
But really: Wasn't J.P. pretty clear about the possibility of a Halladay trade right from the beginning? Didn't he say that he'd listen, but he's have to be wowed? Because that is precisely our recollection, and it is pretty much exactly how things have played out.
Of course, with the possibility that Halladay sticks around through the rest of this year comes the knowledge that his inevitable trade out of the city or decision to test free agency is pretty much all that anyone is going to be talking about for the next 12 to 18 months. Any discussion of this team will pretty much begin and end with a discussion of what's going to happen with Halladay. Great.
To get ourselves through this prolonged transition period, we're going to drink a lot. And then we're going to talk about the remote scenario that Halladay comes back next season, the Jays go on a tremendous run, make the playoffs, and Halladay re-signs with the team to get his ring here.
It could happen. Now where did we put the Knob Creek again?