Meche wanted to pitch against Torotno after GM ripped him

Updated: April 9, 2007, 6:58 PM ET
Associated Press

TORONTO -- Gil Meche said he'll get the Toronto Blue Jays next time.

The Kansas City Royals right-hander upset Toronto when he turned down a four-year offer in December to sign a five-year, $55 million contract with the Royals.

Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi ripped Meche for spurning Toronto for the Royals, who suffered their third straight 100-loss season last year.

"No knock against the kid but we might've dodged a bullet there," Ricciardi said at the time. "I mean, when you're talking to guys (Meche and his agents) about coming to a place that's very close to winning and they're telling you how important winning is to them and then he chooses a place like that ... well, that might've been an eye-opener for us.

"We're here trying to compete with the Yankees and Red Sox, so we need guys who want to compete against those guys."

Meche isn't scheduled to pitch against Toronto this week, but said Monday he would have liked the chance.

"Yeah, I would have. That's how it goes. I'll get them next time," Meche said with a smile.

Meche said he wasn't bothered by the comments, but added that if he was a longtime Royal it would have. He said when Kansas City offered a fifth year he took it.

"That was the difference maker. That's what it took," Meche said.

Meche called turning around the Royals a "huge challenge" but said he's up for it.

The 28-year-old got ace money for a pitcher who is 56-45 for his career and whose 84 walks last season ranked third in the American League.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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