The Pittsburgh Pirates are pleased to announce the hiring of outfielder Manny Ramierz. The 36-year-old left fielder will make $25 million over the next four years.
"We feel Manny is the missing piece to our puzzle," said Pirates GM Neal Huntington.
Oh dear god. Didn't anyone in the Pirates front office watch this.
Certainly, one can read through this early April Fool's joke. However, the Pirates do have a penchant for throwing big dollars at aged talent such as Derek Bell, Jeremy Burnitz, Tony Armas Jr., Matt Morris, etc. while refusing to pay current proven talent such as Barry Bonds, Brian Giles, Jason Bay, Aramis Ramirez, etc.
If it's the trade deadline and you're an above-average player for the Pirates, chances are you're on the way out.
So why not add another blunder of all blunders to the list of Pirates blunders and sign Ramirez for $100 million for four blunderful years? Just an FYI, that contract would be worth more than 10 times the amount of the total salary of the 1997 team, which nearly won the Central with a losing record.
Consider the following:
1) The Pirates are a forever young team with Latin roots. Manny gravitates to both of those issues more so than winning. He was disgruntled by the largely blue-collar work ethic of Boston Southies. Maybe Huntington can sell Manny on the team being a bunch if young hooligans who like to capitalize on the roaring Pittsburgh night life.
2) With the exception of this season, the Central division has been as historically weak as the mild mild West. Manny could actual make a positive impact on the team as an offensive threat. Especially if he has protection from Ryan Doumit or provides it for Pedro Alvarez. Especially since he'll be facing Reds, Astros, Cardinals, Brewers, and Cubs pitchers not named Big Z.
3) Manny doesn't like to play defense. Good thing left field at PNC Park is shallow, the Pirates pitching is bad, and the wall is easily climbable for giving high fives.
4) Manny felt that L.A. was infinitely more relaxed than Boston. Just come to Pittsburgh and see if people care. It's a perfect way to end his career, batting around .300 stroking 30 home runs and driving in 100 plus.
Manny doesn't care about his legacy. He wants a payday, and he expects to fade off into the sign as soon as he signs it. What organization accomplishes that goal better than the Pirates? Well, we might not have $25 million a year for one player but we sure do love to promote and accept mediocrity from aging veterans.