MLB: Is This How We Treat a Living Legend?
I'll start this with some numbers.
510 Home Runs, 2318 Hits, 493 Doubles, 1672 Runs Batted In, .312 Batting Average, .409 On-Base Percentage.
As you probably figured out, those are Manny Ramirez's career batting statistics. Yet, for some reason, the Red Sox decided to trade him in the middle of a three-team division race.
He hasn't been in trouble with the law. He hasn't had a drug or steroid problem (as far as we know). In fact, he has had little off-the-field incidents in his 7+ seasons with the Red Sox. So why do you trade one of the best hitters of an era, when your team is three games out of first place with two months left? Because you don't want to deal with his antics?
Give me a break. If the Sox could put up with "Manny Being Manny" for seven and a half seasons, I think they could make it two or three more months. That's the respectful thing to do. You let him play out the remainder of his contract and then move on without him.
But the Red Sox decided to treat Manny worse than they treated Nomar (Remember, Nomar was offered a four-year extension before being traded). But the Nomar deal was different. Those moves improved the Red Sox, since Nomar wasn't playing or producing. Did the Red Sox become a better team after losing Manny? No! They downgraded to Jason Bay, who puts up good numbers, but is not nearly as intimidating as Manny is at the plate. And they also shipped out Brandon Moss and Craig Hansen, both with seemingly bright MLB futures ahead of them.
You cannot truly appreciate what you have until you lose it. And the Red Sox will realize, in due time, that the Manny deal will have ramifications. For instance, David Ortiz no longer has Manny protecting him in the lineup, so expect his power numbers to drop off and his walks to increase. And who knows if Jason Bay can handle the spotlight of playing in Boston (see Renteria, Gonzalez, Crisp, Lugo, etc.).
An AL East executive said it best: "...sometimes, I don't think even they realized what they had in Manny. When Manny comes up, you feel like you have to pass out ex-lax to your whole team because everybody gets a sick feeling in their stomach -- especially when he had [David] Ortiz there in the middle with him.
"Look, Jason Bay is a great player. But he's not Manny. You're talking about one of the greatest right-handed hitters in the history of the game. I've seen so many situations where you'd think you've got a game, and then all of a sudden that guy came up and everything changed. I've seen what he does to pitchers. I've seen how he changes games. They'll miss that. That's all I can say."
It disgusts me to see Red Sox "fans" that are pleased to see Manny leave. Why would you be happy to see a legend leave your team? At the deadline, the Red Sox did not have to trade Manny. However, since he said some things that could be interpreted as disrespectful, the Sox felt he needed to go. As of right now I feel as though I am a member of a minority that misses Manny, but, with time, the Red Sox and their Nation will miss Manny Ramirez.
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