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 L.A. has rescinded their 2-year, $45 million initial offer to Ramirez.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."
But what do you think? Do you want Manny Ramirez as a Yankee? Leave us a comment!