If the Angels can't get Teixeira, maybe they should go after Manny

Evan Brunell@evanbrunellFeatured ColumnistOctober 24, 2008

Maybe the Angels should make it Manny-heim.

Understand, I am not a fan of Manny Ramirez. I think that the attention he gets, his antics, and the way he left Boston is despicable.

But he can hit. And - maybe more importantly than that - he can get people to the games.

The Angels are expected to go after their free agent rental Mark Teixeira and offer him a multi-year deal that Teixeira and his agent, Scott Boras, want. (Incidentally, want a scary costume for this Halloween? Try a Scott Boras mask. Sure to scare any general managers in your neighborhood.)

But what if the Angels can't sign Teixeira? What if the Yankees or even Orioles swoop in and give Teixeira a 10-year, $20-million a year contract? And if it is the Yankees, could they come in with a $22 million-a-year contract?

That would be mighty tempting money to Teixeira and I think he might take it, leaving the Angels without their first and - seemingly - preferred free agent target.

But what if the Angels went after Manny?

Here are five good reasons why I would not be surprised if the Angels signed Manny:

1) If Arte Moreno were able to offer Manny Ramirez a four-year contract at about $25 million per year, that $100 million is half of what you would spend for Teixeira.

At the same time, think about how much money each player can bring to the gate in terms of star power. While Mark Teixeira is a great player and definitely fills a hole the Angels need, he is simply not as charismatic or popular as Manny Ramirez with the fans.

If you asked most casual sports fans who Mark Teixeira is, they probably couldn't tell you. But ask them who Manny Ramirez is and they will definitely know that name; after A-Rod, Manny Ramirez is the second-most well-known player in the game.

Manny Ramirez is sellable, he is marketable, he is money - and I don't mean his performance in the playoffs.

Manny Ramirez gets butts in seats - and that is what Angels owner Arte Moreno is about.

2) You can tweak the Dodger's noses - again.

Arte Moreno has made considerable inroads into making the Angels a region-wide team and has stolen a lot of thunder from the Dodgers in recent years. Lowering beer prices, changing the team name to Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, investing in free agents, keeping ticket and parking prices reasonably low, etc.

Meanwhile, Dodger owner Frank McCourt has continued to buffoon his way around the Dodgers, firing managers and general managers, raising parking prices, restricting access to players during batting practice so kids can't get autographs.

If the Dodgers do not resign Manny Ramirez, it will be seen as one of the team's dumbest decisions ever.

Manny Ramirez changed the atmosphere of Dodger Stadium; he made the team exciting and fun to watch again; he generated tons of revenue for the Dodgers.

The Dodgers need to keep Manny Ramirez. They should do everything in their power to keep Manny Ramirez. But after the missteps McCourt has made, I wonder if they will.

And if the Angels can sweep in and steal Manny Ramirez away?

All of that thunder, all of that goodwill the Dodgers engendered in the last three months of the season will be gone - moved down the 5 Freeway.

3) Kendry Morales can play first base.

This is not totally related to Manny Ramirez but it should be pointed out that if the Angels lose out on Teixeira, Morales is more than ready to play first base. While he is not the hitter that Teixeira is, I don't know if Teixeira is the hitter that Manny Ramirez is.

4) Manny Ramirez can hit. And then hit some more - especially in the postseason.

Remember we are talking about a guy who owns the all-time record for postseason home runs. And the Angels managed to hit only two in this most-recent four game loss to the Red Sox - both of which were hit by Mike Napoli.

The Angels need some pop in the postseason. Even with a mostly singles attack, the Angels were in every game against the Red Sox in the ALDS. Having Manny Ramirez on board could make all of that change and change the recent postseason fortunes of the Halos.

5) Honestly, Ramirez is a lot easier to spell than Teixeira.

So there you go. Am I off my rocker or does this seem like a good plan to you?