Be still my beating heart!
Do my eyes deceive me or are Yankees fans actually insisting on pursuing Manny Ramirez this post season? Surely you jest! There are only about a MILLION reasons why this is a terrible idea.
Sure, he can play in big city markets with tons of pressure.
Yes, he is one of baseball’s all time greatest batters.
I’ll even give you that when he tries to play baseball, he actually isn’t all that bad.
But NOT in New York!
Manny is surely a talented player. I can agree with that. But he is not Yankee material. Besides, LA won’t let him slip away. There are very few markets he would be willing to go to and I think that he will want to stay in the NL where he will remain prosperous. Remember, Manny CHOSE to go to LA. He had a no trade clause that only he could lift. He has earned the right to be choosy with where he goes through his performance in Boston as a consistent hitter (though not much else).
He fits the Dodgers. They can, and will, continue to build around him.
Besides, according to Manny in an August 8 interview on the Dodgers website he WANTS to finish his career in LA. “I love it,” Ramirez said after one game with the Dodgers. “I feel at home already. Put the word on me — I want to stay here. The weather is nice, the stadium is beautiful.”
Big market, nice weather, Hollywood atmosphere, media attention, a storied historic baseball club, MannyMania, Joe Torre as his skipper, keep his hair, and stay Manny, being Manny. What more could the 37 year old want, money?
“I’ve already made $160 million,” he said. “I like it here. I’m looking for peace. I want to stay here. At the end of the season, if the Dodgers want me to end my career here, we’ll sit down and talk. Time will tell.”
“I want peace.”
If there were anything Manny could bring to the Bronx it would be a sense of fun. The Yankees need to bring more fun to the ballpark. Giambi’s mustache broke some of the tension of New York’s hot summer nights. Remember the night that A-Rod tried out the yellow glasses?
The Yankees need more of that.
But is bringing Manny in the only way to do this?
I hope not. The Yankees get paid top dollar, which is public knowledge, so they are required to produce produce produce. And in recent years they have failed to produce in the only way that the Steinbrenner’s, the guys who sign the paychecks, know how – post season victories.
These guys need to make the game fun again.
But why would the Yanks want to go after another outfielder anyway? Nady is perfect as an everyday player, and I’ve said it time and again that Damon and Abreu are in the top numbers for Yankee offense, consistently. Having that trio as a platooning OF/DH combo will remain deadly.
And how many aging no-trade clause players can the Yankees afford to carry around?
The plus side to utilizing those three for the corners and a back and forth of Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner at center field would provide the Yankees with enough depth to cover any unforeseen injuries as well as help two developing players a chance to make a mark and provide youthful enthusiasm.
One thing that is crucial to remember is the Yankees need for defense as much as offense. While Manny may be a consistent hitter, his only defensive consistency is in his inconsistency. Young and speedy cannon arms like Cabrera or Gardner will fill that need more than just another bat. Damon, Nady, and Abreu can supply the much needed swing that Manny could provide, and the Yanks would be forced to make unnecessary cuts if any other outfielders were added.
I don’t hate Manny Ramirez. I respect his talent. I respect what he can do in baseball. I respect how he makes the game fun for himself and those around him. I respect his total disrespect for the Boston Red Sox. I love Manny being Manny.
But I love Manny in another league, in another town, three time zones away.