Blue Jays fire general manager Ricciardi

Sat Oct 3, 2009 1:24pm EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - The Toronto Blue Jays have fired general manager J.P. Ricciardi after failing to make the post-season during his eight years in charge, the team said on Saturday.

"This was a tough decision and a difficult one for me personally as I have enjoyed J.P.'s friendship and his perspective on the game," Blue Jays acting president and CEO Paul Beeston said in the news release.

"J.P. has put an incredible amount of effort into improving the team and he has brought along a number of great young players.

"However, I feel that it is time for a change, and accordingly we have decided to move on."

The Blue Jays had just four winning seasons under Ricciardi posting a record of 642-651.

The move comes with just two games remaining in a bitterly disappointing season with Toronto sitting 27 games out of first place in the American League East.

Alexander Anthopoulos, vice president of baseball operations, will take over general manager duties.

(Writing by Steve Keating; editing by Ken Ferris)

<p>Toronto Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi (L) and new manager Cito Gaston address the media before a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in this June 20, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/David DeNoma/Files</p>