Cincinnati's Adam Dunn has swatted 18 home runs, more than twice as many as Toronto's leader, Matt Stairs. ((Chris Park/Associated Press))

According to a report in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi has apologized for his on air comments about Reds outfielder Adam Dunn to Cinicnnati's GM Walt Jocketty.

"It's my fault, I take full responsibility for it," Ricciardi told the newspaper Thursday in Pittsburgh, where the Jays will open a series against the Pirates,. "I tried to get Adam's phone number from the Reds... and if he wants to talk to me, I'll talk to him and apologize personally. But I apologize to him and the Reds. I need to be better than that. I let my guard down."

The incident occured when Ricciardi responded negatively to a radio caller who on Wednesday night's Fan 590 show suggested the Blue Jays try to acquire Dunn to help address the team's hitting woes.

"He's a lifetime .230, .240 hitter that strikes out a tonne and hits home runs," said Ricciardi.

When the caller replied that the Blue Jays are lacking in power hitters, Ricciardi questioned Dunn's passion and love for baseball.

"There's a reason why you're attracted to some players and there's a reason why you're not attracted to some players," he elaborated. "I don't think you'd be very happy if we brought Adam Dunn here. I think you'd be one of the guys calling me on Wednesday night complaining about all the deficiencies the guy has.

"We've done our homework on guys like Adam Dunn, and there's a reason we don't want Adam Dunn."

The comments were suprising for their bluntness — GMs are usually circumspect when talking about players on other teams — and for the fact that they could give Dunn extra motivation when Cincinnati pays a rare visit to Toronto next week for a series.

Toronto is floundering, losing 12 of their last 16 heading into their series finale in Milwaukee on Thursday afternoon.

Dunn has hit 18 home runs and 43 runs batted in with a .227 batting average in 69 games with the Reds. He didn't hold back Thursday in his assessment of Ricciardi and his comments.

"I don't know the clown," Dunn told Cincinnati reporters. "You can use the word clown.

"I really don't care what one guy thinks, to be honest with you. If I'm a GM, I don't know that I'd go out of my way to discredit a player."

With files from the Canadian Press