NEW YORK -- Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi indirectly offered Adam Dunn an olive branch after making some blistering comments about the Reds left fielder.
And Dunn indirectly took that olive branch and snapped it over his knee.
On Wednesday, during his radio show in Toronto, Ricciardi was talking to a caller who wanted the Blue Jays to acquire Dunn. Ricciardi took several took several shots at Dunn, saying, among other things, that he "doesn't have a passion to play the game that much."
Dunn, insulted by Ricciardi's comments, fired back some zingers of his own on Thursday.
Ricciardi issued a public apology by Thursday night.
"It's my fault. I take full responsibility for it," Ricciardi told The Toronto Globe and Mail. "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."
Ricciardi was unable to reach Dunn, who was not interested in any apologies.
"'Sorry' doesn't always fix things," Dunn said on Friday before the Reds played the Yankees. "To me, you're not criticizing me as a player. You're criticizing me as a person. That's different. You can say I stink all you want, OK, I'm fine with that. It's over. I'm not crying about it. It doesn't really mean that much."
Ricciardi also contacted Reds GM Walt Jocketty. The two previously worked together in the A's front office.
"He called me before I had a chance to call him," Jocketty said. "He was very apologetic and said it was a big mistake. The guy got him going on the radio. He told me he had been under a lot of stress lately, and said, 'Quite honestly, I have to fire my manager and half the coaching staff tomorrow.' He was sincere about it."
On Friday, Toronto dismissed manager John Gibbons and three coaches.
Entering Friday's game, Dunn was batting .228 and leading the team with 18 home runs and 43 RBIs. The 28-year-old was in a 6-for-46 (.130) slump over his previous 15 games.
"I'd accept [the apology], but I'd still try to beat them," manager Dusty Baker said. "I'm sincerely hoping this wakes up the giant."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.