Status quo for Blue Jays

MIKE RUTSEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:16 AM ET

NEW YORK -- It wasn't so much that J.P. Ricciardi was shut out on trade deadline day since the Blue Jays general manager never really was allowed to get in the game.

The non-waiver trade deadline came and went yesterday afternoon with a flurry of last-minute deals, but none involved the Blue Jays.

"Am I disappointed? Why should I be disappointed?" Ricciardi said after the dust settled. "The guys who we were involved with were no difference-makers for the price they wanted. We'll have to try to win on our own."

The New York Yankees again were the big movers and shakers with their Sunday acquisition of outfielder Bobby Abreu and right-hander Cory Lidle.

To throw a little more sand in the face of the Boston Red Sox and Blue Jays, the Yankees yesterday also acquired Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder/first baseman Craig Wilson.

Ricciardi, however, had plenty of company among those GMs on the outside looking in.

Boston's Theo Epstein, surprisingly, also failed to make a deal. The biggest surprise, though, was that Washington failed to move lithe slugger Alfonso Soriano, who had been going, going ... not gone.

The Jays, in need of starting pitching, nibbled at Lidle and Mark Redman of the Kansas City Royals, but Ricciardi decided the asking price for such mediocrity wasn't worth the loss of his almost-ready-for-prime-time young studs.

"Sure we could have traded a bunch of our young arms but then we'd be starting all over again," Ricciardi said of the years 2007 and 2008. "The players that other clubs were after were the Dustin McGowans, Jeremy Accardos, Brandon Leagues, Francisco Rosarios, Casey Janssens, all our young arms. I just didn't think it was worth the price to lose those players for nine weeks (remaining in the season)."

So it's stay the course, keep playing hard and see what happens.

"We'll just have to see how this goes," Ricciardi said of the final two months of the season. "The thing is we're still in this thing, we're still competing and that's the No. 1 thing.

"We still control our own destiny. We still have a lot of games remaining against the Yankees (nine, with the first of three beginning tonight) and the Red Sox (eight games). If we go out and play our best baseball, we could be there. If we can get to within three or four in September then who knows?"

How the Jays play in the next three games will be a test of their character, especially after the devastating losses to the Oakland A's on Saturday and Sunday -- two games they should have won.

Ricciardi said the team won't roll over.

"Right now we're playing our butts off, we're playing hard," Ricciardi said.

DESTINY

"We know we control our own destiny. If this group really plays hard the final two months it will be fun to see how it plays out."

It's just not as sexy as a trade.


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