Cubs-Blue Jays: Johnson haunts Blue Jays; time for JP to be gone?

KP Wee@kpwee1Senior Writer IJune 14, 2008

You just knew this was going to happen.

A former Blue Jay comes back to town, and sticks it to the Blue Birds.

Reed Johnson, released by Toronto in the spring because of the signing of Shannon Stewart, returned with his Chicago Cubs to the Rogers Centre and tagged Jays ace Roy Halladay for a three-run blast in the second inning Saturday.

Oh, by the way, Stewart is currently on the DL and was hitting just .240 with a home run.

Johnson, on the other hand, was batting .265 going into Saturday's action, and now has three home runs, playing in a platoon role.

Incredibly, Johnson has the same number of dingers as third baseman Scott Rolen, who in my book has been a major bust.

And again, this just goes to show how general J.P. Ricciardi should be gone.

This Blue Jays team has arguably the best starting staff in baseball. Halladay is an innings-eater who is still the staff ace. No. 5 starter Jesse Litsch has seven wins and a 3.42 ERA. Shaun Marcum leads the AL with a 2.43 ERA.

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Yet the Jays are only a game over .500. Check that, with this loss to the Cubs, Toronto will fall to 35-35. (At the time of writing, the Cubs are whipping the Jays 6-0 in the sixth, with Jason Marquis throwing a one-hitter.)

Instead of battling for a division title or the wild card, the Jays are trying to stay out of last place.

Thanks to Ricciardi, the Jays have the brittle Stewart instead of Johnson, and Rolen rather than Troy Glaus.

Yes, Rolen had been hitting .300 for most of the year, but three homers from a major-league third sacker is unacceptable. Especially when the Jays have had problems driving in base runners all year long and are just 11-16 in one-run ballgames.

Glaus, who is now in St. Louis after being shipped out for Rolen in the off-season, has eight dingers and has been contributing as the No. 5 hitter in the Cardinals lineup.

Basically, this just goes to show how the G.M. has miscalculated on his moves.

And I haven't even talked about the Frank Thomas fiasco yet. (And let me guess, when Thomas returns to the Rogers Centre with his Oakland A's, he's going to hit five home runs or something.)

And the acquisitions of A.J. Burnett and Lyle Overbay. Those haven't worked out.

Just fire J.P. Ricciardi, for crying out loud. He just hasn't done anything to make the Jays a contender.

And guess what?

On Sunday, another ex-Jay, Ted Lilly, will try to stick it to the Blue Birds.

Lilly's record is horrible (6-5, 5.13 ERA), but just watch, the Jays will make him look like Cy Young.


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