J.P. Ricciardi, general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, apologized profusely for critical remarks he made about Cincinnati Reds outfielder Adam Dunn earlier this week, and indicated he is trying to reach out to Dunn -- who blasted Ricciardi in response to his remarks -- to apologize directly.
"It was my fault," Ricciardi said in a phone interview.
On Wednesday night, a caller to Ricciardi's radio show suggested that a deal for Dunn might help the struggling Toronto offense, and Ricciardi responded bluntly. "Do you know the guy doesn't really like baseball that much?" Ricciardi said. "Do you know the guy doesn't have a passion to play the game that much? How much do you know about the player?
"There's a reason why you're attracted to some players and there's a reason why you're not attracted to some players. I don't think you'd be very happy if we brought Adam Dunn here."
Dunn, who is available in the trade market, was shown a copy of Ricciardi's comments. "I know nothing about this clown. I have no idea who he is," Dunn told reporters in Cincinnati on Thursday. "I don't really care what one guy thinks, to be honest with you. If I'm a GM, I don't know if I would go out of my way to kind of discredit a player.
"It [ticks] me off to be honest with you. He doesn't even know me. If he knew me, fine, say what you want. This guy doesn't know anything about me other than what he sees on whatever 'SportsCenter' they have up there. That's it."
Ricciardi said on Thursday evening that he called Walt Jocketty, the general manager of the Reds, to apologize to him, and he was in the process of contacting Dunn directly. "I let my guard down" said Ricciardi. "I apologize to him. I have to be better than that Unfortunately, you get caught in the heat of the moment. I don't even know Adam Dunn."
Buster Olney is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine.