Blue Jays Fire J.P. Ricciardi After Eight Seasons as GM

For years, the Blue Jays have failed to compete with the heavy hitters in the AL East — and the organization has had enough.

Toronto made its first step toward moving forward by firing general manager J.P. Ricciardi on Saturday, according to ESPN.com. Ricciardi served as GM for eight years and never once trumped the Yankees, Red Sox or Rays for a playoff berth.

"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," Paul Beeston, the Blue Jays' president and CEO, told ESPN.com. "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."

Ricciardi joined Toronto in 2001 and also served as senior vice president of baseball operations during his reign. The Blue Jays posted four winning records and four losing records under him.

Many predicted that Ricciardi would be fired after this season when he failed to trade ace Roy Halladay prior to the trade deadline. Ricciardi entertained numerous offers from a number of teams — and could have started the rebuilding process with a group of solid prospects — but after much media fanfare, he never went through with a trade.

The Blue Jays are currently 75-85.

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