Baseball

Blue Jays ignore Hillenbrand jabs

The Toronto Blue Jays chose to ignore the latest mud slung at them by ex-infielder Shea Hillenbrand on Thursday.

The Toronto Blue Jays are shrugging off the latest mud slung at them by Shea Hillenbrand, who was booted off the team last July after his mutinous scribbles on a clubhouse whiteboard led manager John Gibbons to challenge the infielder to a fight.

Speaking to the Toronto Sun in Thursday's edition, Hillenbrand accused Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi of threatening "to bury" him on the roster, alleged that Ricciardi had made disparaging comments to him about other players, blamed the GM for stressing out Gibbons and took yet another shot at catcher Gregg Zaun.

Hillenbrand, now with the Los Angeles Angels, also admitted to writing "This ship is sinking," on a clubhouse whiteboard and cutting up the Canadian flag on his ballcap and the Canada across the back of his Blue Jays jersey after being pulled from a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on July 1 — things he denied last year.

Ricciardi declined to comment Thursday, saying he didn't feel the need to talk more about Hillenbrand, while Gibbons wondered why Hillenbrand wouldn't let the matter go.

"It's 2007, not 2006," Gibbons said. "You cannot worry about that. We've moved past that I thought. I wish him well."

All-star centre-fielder Vernon Wells also brushedthe storyoff, claiming "we had our problems last year, just like everybody does."

Zaun said he wished nothing but the best for Hillenbrand and hoped that his former teammate would cease dredging up the past.

"I'd love to see it put to rest because, for his sake, I'd like to see him not have to be bothered by it all the time," Zaun said. "I'm pretty sure it, obviously, hurts him pretty bad.

"I hope Shea will be able to put it behind him."

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