Jays' Godfrey unsure about returning as president
TORONTO -- Blue Jays president Paul Godfrey said Wednesday that he hasn't decided whether to seek a new contract when his current deal expires at the end of 2008, but supports retaining general manager J.P. Ricciardi and manager Cito Gaston in 2009.
A former newspaper publisher and municipal politician, Godfrey was named president of the Blue Jays on Sept. 1, 2000, when Rogers Communications became majority owner. His contract expires Dec. 31, but Godfrey expects to make a decision on his future sooner than that.
"Two or three weeks after the season ends we'll be coming to some conclusions," Godfrey said.
Whether he wants to come back is still up in the air.
"I haven't decided that yet," Godfrey said. "My contract expires at the end of '08 and I've not made any comment on that. I have some important matters to discuss with my family and I've said that consistently. At the same time, I've got to discuss that not only with my family, but the ownership at that point in time."
Godfrey said he has authorized Ricciardi to discuss a new deal for Gaston, who replaced John Gibbons as Blue Jays manager on June 20.
"I've spoken to him about negotiating a contract with Cito going forward," Godfrey said. "I've been a big supporter of J.P., I'm the guy who hired J.P."
Ricciardi, who has two years remaining on his contract, said in early August that he intended to bring Gaston back next season. Formal negotiations have not yet begun, but the men expect to meet this week and Ricciardi said a deal will likely be completed "before the end of the season."
"Cito will be here next year," Ricciardi said. "We'll take care of that."
An announcement on the future of Toronto's coaching staff is expected at the same time. It's not clear whether Gaston intends to retain the three coaches he inherited when he took over, pitching coach Brad Arnsberg, bench coach Brian Butterfield and bullpen coach Bruce Walton.
"I'd like to have them back, I've told them that," Gaston said. "It's still up to them. The guys that are here have done a good job, so I can't see any reason why it would be any different. But you never know, maybe some of them choose not to come back."
Toronto has gone 45-32 since Gaston took over.
"I'm proud, but still think we could have done better," Gaston said.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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