An intriguing thought heard from the broadcasters on MLB network during today's Astros-Phillies matinee: Though the White Sox remain the favorite for the services of Manny Ramirez, possibly, he has been claimed off of waivers the Boston Red Sox.
As if being six games behind the Yankees and Rays, and the rejection of a Boston return by Johnny Damon is not enough pain for Red Sox fans to endure (or would they have really welcomed Damon?) this rumor may be enough to push even the most faithful fans over the edge. But let's think about the prospect for a minute, and how it may work for both parties.
Manny Ramirez: Is his disdain for the Red Sox front office enough to trump his desire to be the media center of attention of the world? Here is a chance for Ramirez to again mount the white horse and ride into a situation where all eyes would be on him. If we have learned anything about Manny over the years it is that the one thing he enjoys the most is the camera firmly fixed on him, and let's face it—this would firmly fix the cameras on him. Not only would this be a chance for him to save the day and stick it to the Yankees again, but this would be a chance to scream "I told you so!" squarely into the faces of Red Sox brass, and cause as much commotion in the Red Sox clubhouse as he would please. It may sound crazy but I think Ramirez would be crazy to nix any deal to Boston.
Red Sox: Let's face it, time is running out and Ryan Kalish and Daniel Nava have done an admirable job filling in for Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron, but neither brings to the table what Manny Ramirez carries in his size 35 bat. As much as a Ramirez return would force Theo Epstien and the Boston execs to eat crow regarding his original issues that forced the trade to the Dodgers, this may be exactly what the team needs. Manny has a player option for 2011 and it would be doubtful that he would want to stay past this season making the financial arrangement one that the Sox could afford. Even if Ramirez did exercise his player option for 2011 the Red Sox are one of a handful of teams that could absorb his salary without taking too much of a hit. The main issue for the Sox has to be Manny's desire to hustle and their desire to control his mouth. That being said, if this relationship were to be a short one it is quite possible that it may work for both sides.
It may just be speculation and rumor, but when you read between the lines and look at the situation both the club and the player are in it becomes almost plainly obvious—right now they both need each other, and this is a move that may just be so crazy it could work.