Shea Hillenbrand, right, has hit 12 home runs this season with the Blue Jays. ((Pat Sullivan/Associated Press))

The Toronto Blue Jays designated Shea Hillenbrand for assignment Wednesday after the six-year veteran criticized management.

Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi said he came to the decision following "irreconcilable differences between the player and the organization."

Hillenbrand's locker was vacant after Toronto's 5-4 loss to the Texas Rangers, and his nameplate removed.

"It will do wonders for the clubhouse," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.

The Jays have 10 days to trade, release, waive or demote Hillenbrand, who blasted the organization before the game in an anger-filled tirade.

"I love my teammates here, but I'm waiting to be traded," Hillenbrand fumed. "I should have been traded two months ago."

Hillenbrand was angry that he didn't receive congratulations from the Blue Jays' front office for adopting a baby girl last weekend.

Hillenbrand left last Friday to be with his family for the completion of the adoption process and returned Tuesday.

"They wonder why they are not winning," Hillenbrand said. "It's the atmosphere."

Hillenbrand, who wasn't in Wednesday's starting lineup, added he would've been better off staying at home.

Hillenbrand was furious that John Gibbons criticized him in front of the team during a closed-door clubhouse meeting.

Hillenbrand told the Toronto Star that Gibbons wasn't pleased with his tirade in the pre-game workout and let the rest of the team know about it.

"Gibby called a team meeting and then he stood up and reamed me out in front of my teammates," Hillenbrand said during a cellphone interview from the clubhouse. "I'm very disappointed about what he did and I find it very unprofessional."

Hillenbrand reportedly refused to sit in the dugout during the game.

"Unfortunately, this is just something with Gibby," Hillenbrand said. "From the beginning of the season, there were times when I wasn't playing and there would be no justifiable excuse.

"He said that if I had a problem with the team or what was going on, I should come into the manager's office and talk to him. But then, he would get mad at me when I did that and accuse me of being a selfish player."

The Jays (52-42) are currently third in the AL East division, trailing the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. They face New York in a crucial four-game series at the Rogers Centre that begins Thursday.

Hillenbrand's comments come on the heels of Riccardi's criticisms of certain Toronto players before the all-star break.

During a series against the Kansas City Royals, Ricciardi said his 3-4-5 hitters were killing the club, an obvious reference to Vernon Wells, Troy Glaus and Hillenbrand.

Wells took exception to Ricciardi's comments when questioned during the all-star game.

Adoption application

Hillenbrand and his wife, Jessica, applied to adopt a child in June, but didn't expect to hear any news during the baseball season.

However, they were surprised to receive word that a woman who gave birth last Friday was a match for the couple.

Hillenbrand went back to California last weekend to complete the necessary paperwork.

"Not one person from the front office has even come up to congratulate me," said Hillenbrand. "It's all the little people like you guys. But nobody from higher up. That's a disgrace."

Gibbons kept Hillenbrand out of the lineup for the second straight game.

"He hasn't played in four days and we like the lineup we have in there," Gibbons said before Hillenbrand's outburst.

Hillenbrand's request is a complete reversal of his stance from two months ago.

He implored Blue Jays management in late May to remain in Toronto when reports surfaced of a potential trade to the Los Angeles Angels for second baseman Adam Kennedy.

Hillenbrand is hitting .301 with 12 home runs and 38 runs batted in.

The Jays acquired Hillenbrand from the Arizona Diamondbacks before the beginning of last season.

With files from the Canadian Press and the Associated Press