Keith Law, former Blue Jays special assistant to GM J.P. Ricciardi, but a writer for ESPN since June, published what appearded to be priveliged details of a relationship known from his previously being a high ranking official with the team.
“Vernon Wells has told Blue Jays’ management that he has no intention of signing a contract extension to stay in Toronto. He and his family would like to move closer to his home in Texas, and he has become increasingly disenchanted in Toronto as he has faced public criticism from general manager J.P. Ricciardi.”
While rumors that Wells wanted to play closer to home are not new, this is the first report that says Wells has told the club he is not coming back. Both Wells and Ricciardi denied that conversation ever took place.
From Wells, “The conversation never happened. It’s a complete fabrication.”
From Ricciardi, “He’s become a writer. It doesn’t take long. Keith Law is officially an idiot.”
This was a surprisingly fast breakdown considering Law was one of Ricciadi’s first hires as general manager. He worked closely with Ricciardi for four and a half years only to quit. To betray the confidence of your former boss and job three months after leaving seems harsh. After hearing Ricciardi’s quit rebuttal one has to wonder if Law left on good terms.
Aside from the negative publicity Ricciardi, Wells, and the entire organization have had to deal with, divulging that information compromises the Blue Jays ability to get full value in a trade involving Wells. If other clubs know Wells is unhappy other teams will treat it more like a player dump (see Shea Hillenbrand).
This sounds like revenge to me. Who knows what happened? It could have been a professional disagreement or a personal matter, anything. But I know this; Keith Law is too smart to not know the effect his comments would have on the situation.
Either Keith Law has compromised his integrity for a story, or he wanted revenge. I hope he just wanted revenge.
Keith Law’s quote from his ESPN Insider Blog Aug. 18, 2006.
Other quotes from Toronto Star article Ricciardi blogged down by Wells rumour by Richard Griffin Aug. 19, 2006.
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