When hearing that Red Sox all-star and future Hall-of-Famer Manny Ramirez had been traded, I am sure the Red Sox Nation was giving GM Theo Epstein the proper "Thank You" he deserved.
Manny Ramirez has been a hitting machine for the Sox. He is a character that is easy to love and his smiles radiate throughout Fenway Park. He has been clutch through two World Series and has been a consistent source of offense since he came over to the Red Sox via Cleveland in 2001.
But now it is time for Jason Bay to shine. What Red Sox fans need to know is they are getting one hell of a ball player in the Canadian-born Bay.
Manny has hit .299 with 20 home runs and 68 RBI so far in the '08 campaign. These are great numbers, just not for a career .312 hitter with 510 lifetime bombs. At 36 years old, "Manny just being Manny" may be more just Manny getting old. His outfield play has never been good and his on and off the field antics, although adorable, are unprofessional.
He will be missed as a Red Sox, and just like any big star switching teams, you hate to see him go. I tip my hat to the great years he played in Fenway, adding 7 years of hall of fame services in left field, where he did not let down the greats before him. Ted Williams, Carl Yastremski and now Manny Ramirez make the legends in left field bigger than the wall they all stood in front of.
But for no instance should anyone ever doubt that it was his time to leave. It is always great to rid your club of a 20 million dollar contract. Plus, the 29 year old Jason Bay has been producing at a similar rate as his trade counter-part and is able great fit to take over the historic left field in which so many greats have played.
Bay's '08 campaign is as follows: a .282 batting average with 22HR's and 64RBI's. the Gonzaga graduate's similar statistics to the aforementioned Ramirez, an improvement in defensive ability, a cut in salary, as well as being over 6 years younger should make "the Nation" happy with the trade.
As all of us stand in disbelief that Manny Ramirez, with his dreadlocks to his mid-back, baggy pants, and smile from ear to ear, will be hitting for the Dodgers on the other side of the United States, let's try to give Jason Bay a well deserved welcoming to the limelight.
I would like Red Sox fans, as well as general baseball fans to root for Bay, who has spent the last five years being the big fish in a small pond. This trade is should not be known as the Manny Ramirez trade, but rather as the Jason Bay trade.