Manny Traded: Is Theo's ears still ringing from the Pearl Jam Concert?
So, it happened, the Red Sox traded Manny. Who in their right mind could trade one of the best right handed hitters EVER? Yeah, I said it, EVER!! This guy has played 16 seasons and has clubbed over 500+ home runs and drove in 1,600 RBI's (Runs Batted in for those keeping score.) You know where people like this end up? Cooperstown, New York. They become immortalized in the Baseball Hall of Fame. You know who else has 500+ HR's and 1,600 RBI's? Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Willie Mays and Ken Griffey Jr. to name a few. Four of these guys are in the Hall and one sure to be a 1st ballot Hall of Famer.
I remember Joe Torre in a press conference during a regular season game against the Red Sox when asked, "So, what do you think of David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez?" He replied, "Pick your poison." Loosely translated: I don't want to have to pitch to either of them. Manny is clutch. If I remember correctly, he was only the 2004 World Series MVP!!
Speaking of 2004 and the trade deadline, when we traded Nomar, my heart sank. However, atleast with that trade, we filled a glaring hole: Defense. We shored up our infield to compliment an already potent offensive threat. This year we traded Manny Ramirez, $7 Million, A young flame throwing pitcher named Craig Hansen and a solid major league outfielder in Brandon Moss for a guy from a small market, coming off a so-so year, on a so-so team: The Pittsburgh Pirates named Jason Bay. Jason who? I would bet 95% of the population had no idea who he was until the trade was announced on E.S.P.N. We didn't even address our glaring weakness: The Bullpen.
I just don't get it. You give away Manny Ramirez, the undoubtedly best hitter on your team with only two months left during a time where your are in a heated 3 team race in the American League East with the Division leading Tampa Bay Rays and your nemesis: The New York Yankees.
So Manny had a few quirks: He didn't routinely run out a ground out, the guy cut off a throw from your center fielder one game. Maybe he disappeared into the Green Monster during the pitching change to make a cell phone call or two. He had a drink with a Yankee player at the bar after a game he said he couldn't play in. Hey, he even threw a ball into the stands after he caught it, running towards the dug out- so what if there was only two outs in the inning. I thought it was about winning the World Series and putting the best team on the field. Tell me how this has happened with this trade? You can't.
Manny Traded: About Freakin' Time
This trade was long over due. Manny Ramirez is a self-centered, it's all about me kind of guy. He wanted his $20 Million contract picked up. Why would you pick up someones $20 Million option when he clearly has shown that he is declining in the one aspect of the game you got him for: Hitting. It is no coincidence the two games Manny asked out of were against hard throwing pitchers of which he has been exposed this season for not being able to get around on the 95 mile fastball. Then he runs a 5.7 down the first base line during a no hit bid by John Lackey. I could run a 5.7 with my walker.
The guy has gotten in fracases with his teammates, most notably Kevin Youkilis and has pushed a 67 year old down because the traveling secretary could not secure FREE tickets for a road game. Manny, you make $20 Million, you couldn't pay for these tickets? Not to mention the protest not getting on the plane to Seattle.
Theo made a hell of a trade. Yes, he gave up $7 Million. However, you had this on the books for this year anyways. You gave up a 96 mph fastball relief pitcher where you are clearly struggling. What? You have have given Craig Hansen ample opportunity to prove himself. It just hasn't worked out. Brandon Moss is a solid Major League Outfielder somewhere, but let's be honest, there was no where for him to play. Finally, you got Jason Bay. This kid is 29, 2 time All-star in the prime of his career and has similar numbers as Manny at the trade deadline:
Manny Ramirez: .299 avg, 20 HR's, 68 Rbi's
Jason Bay: .282 avg 22 HR's and 64 Rbi's
And you get him for a whole 'nother year for $7 Million. So, if you were to take that off the $20 Million option for Manny, you're $13 Million ahead. You don't lose anything defensively. Matter of fact, you have gotten better.
You have gotten rid of the last of a long list of characters signed by Dan Duquette. Will I miss Manny and all his antics? Sure, they were entertaining and in the end, he produced. Do I feel for David Ortiz. Yes, I am not sure you have that "protection" anymore. However, if Manny didn't want to be here and he decided to lay down for the last two months and the Sox didn't make the playoffs, fans would have said, "Why didn't you get rid of that overpaid underachiever?" New England is a Blue Collar Nation and Manny was anything but that. In 2004, you traded iconoclastic Nomar and we won the World Series, why not 2008?
In the end, did anyone lose sleep over this deal? I didn't lose any sleep over it. And if we win, no one else will either.