Jul 31, 2008

Manny being Manny..but not in Boston

Well, it finally happened. Manny Ramirez has finally worn out his welcome in Boston and in the process has joined the likes of Nomar and Pedro as guys who whined their way out of Boston long after their performance had dropped and they were living off past performance. What has Nomar provided the Cubs and Dodgers since he left? What has Pedro brought the Mets?

I will say that I was a Manny fan. I loved some of his antics, like going into the green monster and even some of his defensive miscues. When he performed, he was one of the top hitters in the game, maybe the best right handed hitter. However, Manny has hurt the Red Sox this year with his comments. He has divided the clubhouse and forced the hand of Theo Epstein. I think this will significantly hurt the Red Sox chances to make the playoffs. For these reasons, I am very disappointed and can no longer root for Manny. Not because he is no longer with the Sox, but because he has shown that he doesn't play the game for the right reasons. He is more concerned with listening to super-agent-and-possible-demon Scott Boras than with being the player he could be.

Here are some of the cold hard facts:
The Red Sox paid a lot of money and got probably the best years of Manny's baseball life. His Red Sox Stats - 245 HR's, 868 RBI's. However, he hit 20 hr's last year and 20 so far this year. Well off his pace. His RBI's - 88 last year and 68 so far this year. Way below past performance. His slugging percentage the last two years is 100 points lower. Manny has shown he is not the same hitter. Maybe its motivation. Maybe its getting older. Who knows.
Manny was a big boost for David Ortiz, but a big distraction with a lot of other players. He also lacks character. The Red Sox are better in the long run building a team off players like J.D. Drew, Mike Lowell, Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, and Jacoby Ellsbury. These are guys who are interested in being well compensated, but are more interested in playing baseball to the best of their ability.
The Red Sox were going to lose Ramirez at the end of the season anyway because his option was too much for his declined stats. The Sox are looking past this season and got a guy with similar stats for less money. One guy who called WEEI in Boston this afternoon said that basically the Red Sox gave up Brandon Moss (a fifth outfielder) and Craig Hansen (an underperforming bullpen pitcher) and two future draft picks (which they would have received when Manny walked) for Jason Bay for the next 2 years. For now, it looks liket the Sox gave up too much to get rid of a cancer. However, it's better than what they got for letting Pedro walk. In '04, Sox fans griped when they gave up beloved (and periennal whiner) Nomar for Orlando Cabrera and
Doug Mientkiewicz. But it helped them win the first world series in 86 years. I don't think that will happen this year, but who knows.

I hope that Jason Bay will pan out.
Time will tell. For now, the Sox will move on. We will no longer hear the phrase "Manny being Manny" at Fenway Park. They are still one of the best teams in baseball. They have proven to be the most successful team in the game over the last 5 years. I hope that trend continues.


Haines said...

So far so good for Bay bro!

Game winning run in his first game and TOWERING HR in the 2nd one!