While Yankees fans nation-wide rejoiced yesterday at the thought of the Red Sox trading future Hall of famer Manny Ramirez, many were left to wonder how this will impact the league and the post season. Yes, it is true Manny has long taunted the Yankee fan-base, being raised in New York's Washington Heights, and choosing to sign with the Red Sox in 2000. Then, slapping Yankees fans in the face further, by helping their arch-rival, the Boston Red Sox, win two World Series Championships in 2004 and 2007. However, it was a love-hate relationship between Yankees fans and Manny Ramirez.
Yankees fans respected Manny, the player, simply because of the numbers which he put up. No matter how much of a Yankee fan you are, and how much you despise the Red Sox, you have to admit that Manny is a great offensive player. Classy? That is to be disputed, but that scruffy looking, dread lock -wearing man sure could hit. With a batting average of .312, the twelve time all-star seemed to get too full of himself in his last years with the Red Sox. Even going so far as to say that although they were both tired of each other, the franchise would never trade him because of the great hitter he was. Who would? He's a great player and put up great numbers both in the regular and the post season. His many antics came to be labeled as 'Manny being Manny' by the media, and although at first it was comical, in the end Boston rivals were the only ones laughing.
Yankee fans learned to love his 'Manny being Manny' moments because of how bad it made the Boston franchise look. From rolling over a ball in center field, to the Youkilis scuffle or simply refusing to play with a 'sore knee', Manny had made it clear in his last year as a Red Sox, that he did not want to be there. And Yankee fans? They loved every second of it, going so far as to say 'Thank you for being you.' The more the slugger humiliated his team the more grateful the Yankee fans were to have him on it. Although at times, (the 2004 ALCS being a prime example), they despised his ball playing, in the end, Yankees fans and Manny parted with a better relationship. Not good, just better. And in the end, none were happier to watch him go. Not even the Boston franchise, because even though now they have the Manny antics out of their hands, they also don't have the bat of this great clean-up hitter. They have left that position to Jason Bay, who is a good player, yes, but no Manny. He has a lot to live up to, and prove in Boston in the upcoming months. We have seen the Boston franchise do this many times before, with the likes of Babe Ruth and Pedro Martinez among others, for different reasons I'm sure, but they always give up their Hall of famers, for better or for worse.
The Red Sox fans have mixed feelings. Some, are glad to see his clown antics go, others, are sad to watch him leave, but undoubtedly both feel like it was a mistake to trade him before the post season. The unstoppable duo of three, four, hitters Ortiz and Ramirez, is suddenly one man short, and Red Sox nation, along with baseball fans nation-wide are left in shock.Yankees fans on the other hand, are still out celebrating, not only because it gets this future hall of famer out of their hair for a bit, but because it cripples the Red Sox line up.
This can only leave the American League pennant and Wildcard in a toss up. The Rays are playing great baseball. The Yankees are only out of the race by 4 games in third place, and have acquired future Hall of famer, "Pudge" Rodriguez. We have yet to see what the 2nd place Sox will do with this change in their line up.
Upon speaking to a Red Sox fan myself, I realized the true state of Red Sox nation and how this is viewed as a monumental mistake. A few have even turned against the franchise claiming that Boston does not know how to treat its stars. Here I disagree. Manny's moments while funny, showed much disrespect for the franchise, the team, the fans and the sport as a whole. It is understandable why the trade was done, but it couldn't have come at a worse time. Is this a moment the franchise will regret? Quite possibly. This could be a turning point for their season. Whether it is good or bad, that is still to be determined. For now, in New York, there seems to be great excitement about the trades, so much so that it has opaqued the current series with the best team in baseball right now, the Anaheim Angels, who coincidentally just swept the Red Sox. This could also be a turning point for the Yankees. Things are seemingly 'looking up', what with a great new catcher who couldn't be more excited to be in New York (kind of endearing actually) and Manny gone, it could turn out to be just the boost the Yankees needed. We shall see what happens. For now though, I will reminisce on the joy displayed yesterday at the sports bars across New York City and say : NA NA NA NA ...NA NA NA NA...HEY MANNY.. GOODBYEEEEE.
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