I heard a story on Mike & Mike this morning of a little four year boy who has been offered five 10,000 pound sponsorships to drive cars, with people already saying he’s the next big thing in racing. I don’t even know how that works. A four year old driving? What’s he driving, a big wheel?
The notion that Manny Ramirez might get 20 millions dollars or more a season for multiple years after the season is about as stunning to me as the four year old story. I know he’s hit fantastically since he came to the Dodgers, and I know I am a biased Red Sox fan, but I’m not writing this as a Red Sox fan, I’m writing this as a thinker.
Let’s look at the pros first. Manny hit .299 with 20 homeruns and 68 RBI in 100 games with Boston this year. Once he arrived in Hollywood, he hit .396 with 17 homeruns and 53 RBI in 53 games. Overall, he has hit .332 with 37 homeruns and 121 RBI’s. His 162 game average over his career is 41 homeruns, 133 RBI and a .314 average.
There’s absolutely no doubt the man can hit. None. BUT THAT’S IT. He does nothing else to contribute. If you are looking at giving a guy this much money, don’t you think he should bring the whole package? Well let’s see…
1. Great hitting
2. 36 years of age and 16 years in the bigs.
3. Absolutely no defense.
4. The clubhouse issues
5. ”Public relations” issues
6. Attitude issues when he is unhappy
Read those over. Go ahead, do it. Read them again if you want. Are they untrue? Is that a guy you want as an absolute cornerstone for your team for the next four to five years? The Red Sox had to deal with Manny’s antics every year, and up until this one they couldn’t tolerate it. Think about that for a second. He couldn’t get through a season without burning enough bridges on a team that had won two championships in four years, had great chemistry and was setting themselves up for another playoff run? How are these same antics going to go over in towns like LA, Chicago or New York that are itching for a championship and are feeling the heat from their fanbase and others to deliver, and soon? I almost want to see him go to one of these towns; melt down again to see what happens from there. That would be a good story.
The Red Sox had no good reason to get rid of him unless his attitude was so big of an issue that he would’ve cost them team dearly. It takes a lot to get to that point, and to the Red Sox, he had evidently reached it. If you want proof that the Red Sox thinking was right, just look at their results since he left. Has he left a hole in their lineup? Certainly. But Jason Bay has filled it in nicely (You think so, Angels?) and they haven’t had an issue related to team chemistry since.
This doesn’t even include how contracts will be done in this struggling economy. Will teams want to dish out this kind of cash when they’re hurting financially already?
Now, don’t get me wrong. He will be right at the top of the list of free agent hitters, and he deserves to be. As old as he is, he has some years left. I mean, he never gets injured/runs or plays hard, how worn down can his body be? He definitely deserves somewhere around 10 to maybe 15 million, but his agent, or as I like to call him, the devil whisperer, Scott Boras, will start the bidding at 20 mil. That’s where the real evil is. Boras, not Manny. While Manny does have some issues, Boras steers the ship. If you want to read more about this, go check out Bill Simmons’ essay on the subject.
If you want to pay a guy the big money, he has to bring everything you want in a 20 million dollar player to the table, not just a big stick.
That little kid might be a safer bet to get the money coming to him.