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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Why I want Manny Ramirez to wear pinstripes

You would think that a future Hall of Famer who pretty much single-handedly got his team into the playoffs would be in big demand on the free agent market. But you would be wrong, when it comes to the case of Manny Ramirez.

It appears that he and superagent Scott Boras may have outsmarted themselves this year. (Yes, I know it sounds strange to use the words "Manny Ramirez" and "outsmarted" in the same sentence, but hear me out.)

True, Boras was successful in getting his client out of Boston - and getting the option year clauses on his contract voided. And Ramirez reminded everybody exactly how great a hitter he is with his time on the Dodgers, where he hit .396, with 17 homers and 53 RBI in two months. Also, after acting up in an unconscionable matter with the Red Sox, Manny was being a well-behaved Manny in Los Angeles. No matter.

It looks like Manny is ready to have a blue Christmas, but it won't even be Dodger blue. L.A. has rescinded their 2-year, $45 million initial offer to Ramirez. And nobody else appears to have much interest in signing him. Newsday's Ken Davidoff reports:
Manny Ramirez is growing extremely upset about the lack of suitors for his services, so much so that he has told friends he would contemplate retirement if a suitable offer doesn't arrive soon, a person close to the situation told Newsday.
That's not all. Davidoff writes:

Ramirez told a friend that he spends most of his time working out, watching cartoons and playing video games. He'd much rather be speaking to his agent Scott Boras about high-stakes negotiations.
And here I thought that Ramirez was a secret genius who really went into the Green Monster all those times not to use the restroom, but to work on complicated math equations. Another illusion shattered!

Anyhow, longtime Squawker readers know that I've gone back and forth on whether I want Manny in pinstripes. Right now, I've decided the Yanks should sign him, for the following reasons:
  • In passing on re-signing Jason Giambi and Bobby Abreu, the Yanks have lost 52 HRs and 196 RBI, and two of the few Yankees who actually hit well last year. Given that the Yanks' hitting woes helped keep them out of the playoffs, they sure could use a bat like Ramirez's. He is a future Hall of Famer, after all, who still can terrify the opposition.
  • Manny could be a comparative bargain this year on the free agent market - at the very least, he'll be a lot cheaper than Mark Teixeira will. Spending, say, 3 years and $60 million on Ramirez makes a lot more sense than the 5-year, $82 million contract A.J. Burnett is getting.
  • The entertainment factor, both on and off the field. True, Manny brings a lot of baggage with him. But he also brings excitement. Love him or hate him, everybody has an opinion on him. And every at-bat with him (or catch in the outfield) will be must-watch viewing.
  • Granted, he could prove to be a distraction, and he'll bring a lot of drama to the Yanks' clubhouse. Then again, A-Rod is curently hobnobbing with Madonna. What could be more headline-making - and dramatic - than that?
  • Ramirez, who grew up in Washington Heights, has been open about the fact that he always wanted to be a Yankee. And he said that when he was a Red Sox. It would be fun to have a hometown hero on the team again who really wanted to wear the pinstripes.
  • It adds a new dimension to the Rivalry. As Red Sox fan Bob Ekstrom said on our blog earlier this week, "If you think Damon's homecoming was tepid, wait until the Big Chill that sweeps the Fens with Manny in pinstripes."
Do I think it's realistic that Manny Ramirez could be a Yankee? Absolutely. After all, according to SI.com's Jon Heyman, Hank Steinbrenner reportedly covets him, and doesns't seem to care about the long hair. I do think Manny should have to cut his hair, though, just to add to the entertainment factor!

But what do you think? Do you want Manny Ramirez as a Yankee? Leave us a comment!

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

He has very high entertainment value (the catch-fan high five-double play against Balt. immediately comes to mind.) When he's producing you tend to overlook much, and he is a producer. So in that regard he'd probably be a good signing. But when he quits on your team, which he did more than once for the Sox (most shamefully at the end of 2006) it is almost unbearable. At least it was for this fan. I guess I'd just caution: be careful what you wish for.

Cindy R.

Alvaro Fernandez Ravelo said...

Where do you put Manny? Matsui is the DH. Please no more Damon on CF! He must play LF, my grandma has a better arm.
Unless Matsui moves to 1st, but Cashman has shut down the idea.
Simply nowhere to place him.

Eks said...

Lisa:
Manny now guarantees he'll be playing somewhere next year. In fact, his other dream - besides playing for the Yankees - is to hit 700 HR, so he's not going to retire until then.

In 2003, he always wanted to be a Yankee. Then, he wanted to retire a Red Sox. Next, he wanted to go to CA where he could walk in a mall without being recognized. After that, it was back to finishing his career in Boston, until last September, when he wanted to retire a Dodger. Yesterday, he contemplated retirement; today, he guaranteed a return.

Manny's affections are like any madam's along West 42nd Street - they go to the highest bidder and will change an hour later.

Tom Kitrick said...

I agree with you, and at only a two year commitment could potentially give the Yanks a real edge. Plus it would annoy Red Sox fans, and what's ever wrong with that?

Roger9 said...

saxman330I'm hot and cold on the Manny coming to the Yankees. Just imagine the headlines with him and A-Rod sharing off the field endeavors. But on the other hand, if they both had hot seasons...look out Boston and the rest of the league!

Jonathon said...

I'd LOVE to see Manny on the Yankees. Give him a 5 year deal @ $25m per. But then again I'm a Sox fan so...

I think he'll end up back with the Dodgers when it's all said an done.

http://www.nationofone.mlblogs.com

She-Fan said...

I'm in the Please-Don't-Sign-Manny camp. The last thing we need is somebody who doesn't run out ground balls and dogs it in the outfield. (Hello? Cano?) We need a bit bat for sure - protection for A-Rod in the lineup. But while Manny is a great hitter and an eccentric personality, let him go back to the Dodgers. Joe Torre can handle him, not Joe Girardi.

Uncle Mike said...

Manny wants to watch cartoons and play video games? So did I, when I was 13 years old. Of course, when I was 13 years old, I also wanted to play baseball. For the Yankees. I would've been happy to accept the minimum salary of $60,000 or whatever it was at the time. (My, how quaint.)

Putting Manny Ramirez on the Yankees is like turning a DeLorean into a time machine: In theory, it can work great; in practice, the results could be disastrous.

Forget the entertaiment factor. You want headlines? Win. Or lose spectacularly. The last three years, the Mets have been VERY entertaining. And what has it gotten theirs fans?

As my year-and-a-half-old niece Rachel would say, wagging her finger, "Noo, noo, noo!"

JeanneB said...

Manny? Are you kidding me? Manny who doesn't know which knee is injured when he goes for MRI? Manny, doesn't lift the bat off his shoulder when facing Mo? Manny who dogs it in the outfield? Yeah, that is what the Yankees need along with the rest of their overpaid, unmotivated aging players.
I have never been so disheartened by a team I have been rooting for my entire life.
Is there anyone on the team who can throw from the outfield? Or is under 30? And, AJ Burnett...was that done b/c we might miss Pavano and his injuries?
UGH!

Anonymous said...

I am disappointed that Lisa would want to see Manny in pinstripes. He is the last player I would like to see playing for the yankees. Remember the Red Sox didn't get back to the WS this yr and you don't see them crying we need Manny back! No doubt maybe the greatest RH hitter in the game but way too much bs to go along with his bat. Sure they need offense(Swisher&Cameron are jokes) but IMO the way to go is Texieria, younger, switch hitter and above all no drama. Money isn't the issue here its having a little respect and integrity for the game, not picking up a sulking, self-centered,guy who plays hard when he wants. The yankees already have one guy who is a great player but a real loser as a human being, we don't need two.

NAM said...

Save yourselves the heart ache Yankee fans. Run from Manny. He will leave you pulling your hair out.