Thursday, February 5, 2009

Manny Being Manny Just Isn’t What It Used To Be


Sorry ladies, today I’m talking baseball.

Specifically, I’m talking Manny. Now I know I’m not going to get a lot of hits on this, but I’m talking Manny anyway.

Few modern day baseball players have commanded the hitting game like Manny Ramirez and after last season, a season that began in Boston and ended in Los Angeles, he’s betting on it. Two weeks away from spring training and Mr. Free Agent Manny has no deal. But because Manny is Manny, it doesn’t seem to bother him. His agent, Scott Boras was quoted by ESPN.com as saying in regards to Ramirez’s current team limbo, “I don't really think about a timetable. Anything can be done any day. You just don't know."

NEWSFLASH: Boras and Manny are bluffing. Only this time it just may be their last stand at the table. Late Monday night, Manny rejected a one-year, $25 million dollar contract from the LA Dodgers because as Boras put it, “other suitors are preparing to offer more”. Game speak translation: “If you can’t give us what we want, take a hike, we’ll go elsewhere.” Sorry guys, it’s just not going to be that simple this time.

While it is true that after a seven-year tenure with the Boston Red Sox, where Ramirez’s slugging production was a big part of the two World Series championships he won there, things have changed but Manny has not. He’s still the self-centered child/man who refuses to produce whenever it suits him because he puts himself above everything else. It’s of no surprise to me that Manny and Boras don’t realize that in today’s economic climate the history making mega-deal is, for now, a thing of the past. It got lost somewhere amid the bailouts and the foreclosures and the dwindling stock market in the real world.

But Manny and Boras live on a different planet than we do, and greed is their mentor. Back in November ‘08, the Dodgers offered Manny a two-year, $45 million dollar contract with and option for a third year, bringing the total to a possible $60 million for three years. That would pay Manny a guaranteed $15 million for ‘09 and $22.5 million for ’10 with the option for $22.5 million in ’11. But Manny was and still is, reportedly seeking a four year deal worth $25 million a year, regardless of who signs his checks. Not only did Ramirez and Boras ignore the Dodgers offer in November, they let the deal expire and the offer was then withdrawn. No worries, Manny just goes down into the basement of one of his many spacious homes and prints hundred dollar bills anyway. He can afford to be selective.

The Dodgers are smart and the PR spin on the Ramirez contract negotiations is one of confidence that they can get the job done before spring training. No one is closing that door just yet. After seven years of following the Manny Chronicles, I say good luck to you with that. We’re talking about Manny here.

The Dodgers should sign him because they need him. Last season, in a half season with LA, Ramirez put up a .396 batting average, with 17 home runs and 53 RBI’s. In the post season he batted .520, with 4 HR’s and 10 RBI’s. From the moment he stepped onto the field in LA, attendance increased by the thousands and Ramirez carried the team all the way to the playoffs. Manny is that kind of player, no doubt. *He is one of three players in the history of the game with more than 500 home runs with an average of .310 or better. The other two were Babe Ruth and Ted Williams. But Manny is also a risk in more ways than one, and how many teams out there can afford a risk in today’s weak economy?

Who you ask? According to Suite101.com, since rejecting the Dodgers offer on Monday, three of the four “other suitors preparing to offer more”, the Mets, Washington Nationals and the Yankees have all publicly stated that they are not interested in signing Ramirez. The Yankees would have been the logical choice, considering they can afford him and need him to protect A-Rod in the lineup since Giambi and Abreu were not re-signed. Unfortunately for Manny, the Yankees just prudently spent $423.5 million on their brand new starting pitching line up: $243.5 million tying up CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett and $160 million stealing Mark Teixeria from the Red Sox. The Teixeria deal effectively put the nail in the coffin of any of Ramirez’s Yankee dreams. The gene pool is getting smaller.

That leaves the Giants and the Dodgers with both teams unsure and possibly unable to go any higher than $20 million for a one or two-year deal with the 37 year old slugger. And LA is getting tired of the game. Will the Giants cough up the big dough and step up to the plate?

Hank Aaron hit .372 with 47 HR’s and 118 RBI’s at the age of 37.
Babe Ruth hit .341 with 41 HR’s and 137 RBI’s at the same age.
Ted Williams hit .388 with 38 HR’s and 87 RBI’s at the age of 38.

At 37 can Manny Ramirez continue to produce those numbers? The answer is yes, he absolutely can. But now I think he needs to look at the big picture because being Manny just isn’t worth what it used to be.
*This sentence has been edited post publication to reflect the more complete information Earl called me out on. Thanks dude!

21 comments:

Bill Stankus said...

I don't know how info about a player is released into the void of the media but it does seem there are lots of Manny stories yet I've never heard him interviewed in person, with his face and voice for all to see. Of course living in Seattle all we hear are Mariner stories so if he has spoken, it isn't broadcast in these parts.

If I was to assign a commonly held belief for Manny's behavior as interpreted by newsie jocks, I would say his agent Boras is the real string puller. He whispers to Manny (and his other clients) and they then mouth what was told them.

Bottom line: Greed kills careers, if not on the field, at least in the hearts of fans. "Yoo hoo, A-Rod ...."

B.E. Earl said...

I'd like to see Boras revealed as the ultimate villain in this storyline. Because a hitter as talented as Manny needs to be on someone's team right now. Not my team...I freakin' hate the guy! But on someone's team.

A couple of corrections: A lot more than 3 players have hit 500+ HR. Not sure what you meant by that. Also, Ruth hit .341 that year, not .241. Sure that was just a typo.

Candy's daily Dandy said...

Bill- I agree that Boras is the puppet master. Frank McCourt has been recently quoted as saying that Boras has been "difficult to deal with."

Earl-Dude-thanks for calling me out on that! On the point that Manny was one of three players, behind Ruth and Williams to hit 500 HR's, what I should have said was that he is one of only three players to hit over 500 HR's with a batting average of .310. My bad.

As for your other point, it was not a typo-I stated my source and here is the link-

http://baseball.suite101.com/article.cfm/yankees_pursuing_manny_and_pettitte

Please tell me your source and if my source is wrong-I'm calling them out on it!

Candy's daily Dandy said...

Sorry-the link didn't come through clearly.

I will link the Suite101.com article in the post.

mike said...

Ahhhh, now you're speaking my language. Manny is arguably the greatest right handed hitter of all time, I mean you could make a case for A Rod, but as far as RBI production, clutch hitting, and approaching hitting like an art form, Manny is the man.

If not for the economy, which does not seem to be affecting major league teams, I would say that Manny could set his own price... and get it. You can't blame Boras for holding out, even Joe Torre has said that he wants Manny back.

Candy's daily Dandy said...

Mike-I agree. But Manny is holding out for long term dollars and I think that may not be out there right now. If he continues with the Manny games, he could possibly go unsigned this season. Take the $25 for a guarenteed one year or a possible two years and quit your bitchin!

B.E. Earl said...

@Candy,
Yeah, it was a typo on their part. Check out Babe Ruth's stats for the year he was 37 here:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/r/ruthba01.shtml

As for the 500 HR club, you are right. They are the only three. But a pretty big difference in AVG. Ruth and Williams are both over .340 while ManRam is at .314. FYI - Lou Gehrig hit .340 for his career but came up short by 7 HR due to ALS and Stan Musial hit .331 but only hit 475 HR. He lost a year to WWII, but he wasn't a power guy at that stage of his career so he probably wouldn't have hit 25.

More baseball posts! I could talk about this stuff all day. :)

Candy's daily Dandy said...

ok- since we're talking history, stats and averages- how about this: old school player vs. new school player.

New School: Ramirez. Suddenly, when a fire baller is on the mound, Manny mysteriously has a knee problem or a groin pull and benches himself-in his seven year Boston tenure-seen it 100 times. No play=no whiff=saved average.

Old School: Ted Williams. On 9/27 1941, after the second to last game of the season, (the last game was a double header), legend has it that Williams manager came to him and said (not verbaim), "Ted, you've hit .400. No one has ever done that. I'm benching you for the last game so you can finish with your average in tact." Williams reportedly said-no way and played both games going 6 for 8, therebye upping his average to .406. Teddy ball game had a respect and love for the game and wasn't afraid to put his record on the line-to finsh like the player that he was. To date, no one has ever hit over .400 since.

SkylersDad said...

I hope to hell he gets shut out of baseball. The man is a complete ass-hat!

B.E. Earl said...

I happen to think Ted Williams might be the greatest hitter of all-time, and the stories about his hitting make me want to invent a time-travel machine.

When he was 40 in 1960, he hit .316 with an OBP of .451 and a SLG of .645. Ridiculous numbers even with only 113 games played. He even hit a HR his last AB in the last game he ever played in. To deep CF. At Fenway.

Amazing guy. Imagine what would have been if he didn't miss all that time to two wars. And when he got back from Korea he was never healthy enough to play a full season. Boggles the mind.

Heff said...

I know -not sh!T - about baseball, but I'll leave you a comment anyway !

Candy's daily Dandy said...

Earl-so that means that he was 41 in 1941, the year he had an MVP award season, the hitting streat and batted over .400, a feat no one has accomplished since.
There may be hope for us yet!!!

I do believe The Slendid Splinter was not only one of the greatest pure hitters of all time, but a role model to everyone during a time of war and turmoil in world.

Kinda makes ManRam look like Darth Vader these days.
Boras needs to pull a Jerry Maguire on him and say, "you play with your head and not your heart..that is not what inspires people. Just SHUT UP and play the game and play it with your heart and I will show you the quan...*high piched squeal* Ya know??

I love to quote that movie.

Candy's daily Dandy said...

Heff- you are so funny! I love ya-you da bomb!

Cheryl said...

I used to love Manny Ramirez- jersey and all. And now he's just a complete pain in my ass. Reading about him makes me want to puke. Baseball is for awesome people. He is not awesome.

Screw that.

I'm burning his Red Sox jersey.

That's enough out of him.

Joe D. said...

I loathe Scott Boras, I am convinced that he is singular reason that Mark Teixeira isn't an Oriole today. I also beleieve that Boras bluffing when he says Manny has other suitors, well at least suitors as serious as the Dodgers. I think Coletti should call him on his bluff because he could sign Adam Dunn, Ben Sheets, and Relief Pitcher X for that 25 mil.

B.E. Earl said...

Candy, I was wrong...he was 41 in 1960. So that puts him at 22 in 1941 when he hit .406. He finished second in the MVP to DiMaggio and it was Joe D who had the hitting streak...56 games.

Arjewtino said...

I don't think the Giants are legitimate contenders, they're just trying to up the Dodgers' offer.

He'll sign with LA soon enough.

I hope.

Candy's daily Dandy said...

Cheryl-Right on girl! I'm with you-Manny sucks, he is soo not awesome. I'm sorry about your shirt. Between me and the kids have a few-or ten- Manny shirts to burn too!

Ok Earl-this is the site I got the MVP stat for Williams 1941 MVP stat. And If I have learned anything today, besides the fact that every one pretty much agrees that Manny is an ass, is to check and recheck fact...on the Baseball Almanac and not take any fact from some douchebag site-(like mine) and run with it.

http://www.funtrivia.com/en/Sports/Ted-Williams-7343.html

I stand corrected. My Guy told me that he didn't win the MVP that year too-but he did have a great hitting streak.

Joe-Riiight?? Like $25 mil for one year is an insult or something.

Atjewtino-Thanks for stopping bye. Couldn't agree more. Standard scumbag Boras agent posturing.

TishTash said...

Wow, it's like you were speaking a whole new language.

Snow White said...

Love a girl who knows her baseball. However I'm a Cubs fan all the way! Left you something on my blog tho ;)

Lisa said...

Don't apologize. I LOVE baseball. Yesterday was a baseball theme.

Manny is the epitome of why it costs a couple hundred dollars to take your kids to a ball game.

My parents had very little money when I was a kid and we lived in Baltimore, but we could afford to go to games far more often than my husband and I were able to take our kids...