Thursday, July 31, 2008

Manny being Manny

Often Manny Ramirez plays baseball with a child-like joy. Unfortunately, like clockwork, he also uses his position and the perception of himself as one of the games premier hitters to throw petulant tantrums.

Almost every year that he's been in Boston, he's done this - and the Fenway faithful have generally forgiven him, given him a pass, and cheered him. The same fan-base that booed Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, and Jim Rice, has given Manny a pass.

Now Manny says the following -

“The Red Sox don’t deserve a player like me,” Ramirez said. “During my years here, I’ve seen how they (the Red Sox) have mistreated other great players when they didn’t want them to try to turn the fans against them.

“The Red Sox did the same with guys like Nomar Garciaparra and Pedro Martinez, and now they do the same with me. Their goal is to paint me as the bad guy.

“I love Boston fans, but the Red Sox don’t deserve me. I’m not talking about money. Mental peace has no price, and I don’t have peace here.”

I agree, the Sox don't deserve him. They made Manny one of the highest paid players in the history of the game when they signed him - and they got a player that whined about not wanting to be in Boston from year one, a player that would fake injuries and illness to get out of the line-up, take plays off, and fail to run out ground balls, and in so doing, screw his teammates. Why? Because he doesn't like his contract. Because he doesn't have enough privacy in Boston (then don't invite the Globe into your house to do an article on where you live). Because he has friends on another team.

And let's face a few realities here - realities that Manny is not acknowledging...

Manny shoved a senior citizen to the ground, no one made him do that. Manny complained about pain in the knee - not for the first time while he's been with the team - and this time the Sox called him on it by getting an MRI on both knees. He's complained about his deal with regularity - the one he signed - upset about the team-held options. It's not like these were hidden in fine print when he signed the contract - everyone knew the deal before the ink was drying, but now he's unhappy with it. No one held a gun to his head.

Manny's doing a really, really good job of painting himself as the bad guy.

And let's face it, when someone's hitting 45 home-runs and knocking in 130 to 144 RBI's per season, and leading the league in many of the offensive categories, it's easy to write off the whining and other issues that come with Manny.

But he's not leading the league anymore. This is what he's doing...

Tied for 26th in the majors in home runs.

Tied for 25th in RBI's.

Tied for 25th in Runs.

Is 35th in batting average.

Is 18th in OPS.

Is 26th in slugging percentage.

Of all of those stats, the only one in which Manny leads the Red Sox is homers - he has 20 to JD Drew's 19, and Kevin Youkilis' 18. Otherwise, he trails teammates in every other category.

If the trade the Sox are looking at works out, Boston will bring in the 29-year old Jason Bay who leads Ramirez in home runs, has only four fewer RBI's, has scored six more runs while batting in the 12th ranked line-up in the majors. Ramirez is in the fifth, and for much of the season the Sox line-up was top two.

Over the last three seasons (including this one), Ramirez has hit 75 home runs and driven in 258, while Bay has 78 homers and driven in 257 in the Pirates line-up. Bay has not had hitters like David Ortiz, Mike Lowell and Kevin Youkilis around him.

For the season, given their current line-ups, Ramirez projects for 30 home runs and 102 RBI's, Bay for 33 homers and 96 RBI's. What might Bay do in a better line-up?


Dave said...

Amen amen amen!!

Craig said...

A thousand Amens!

However, with just about 30 minutes left before the deal looks dead.

So, what do Sox fans want know?

A new contract?
Let him ride the season?

I have tickets for the Sox vs KC nect week and I can't believe I'm saying this but...

I hope I don't see Manny.

David Sullivan said...

I am sad to see Manny gone for the simple fact that I am going to miss his bat. One thing you can say about the guy is that he is a character and there aren't many left in sports these days. That said he needed to go and the sox did everything they could to facilitate that. Good luck Joe Torre.

Kevin Smith said...

Considering Bay and Ramirez have had almost identical numbers over the last three seasons, I don't think Manny's bat is going to be missed that much. And Bay put up his "Manny-like" numbers in the AAA line-up that is the Pirates.

Suldog said...

Manny was (is?) one of the great RBI men of all-time. Put men in scoring position and the SOB gets them home.

Having said that, I'm glad to see him go. I've enjoyed most of the "Manny Being Manny" stuff through the years, but when you start slugging your teammates and club personnel, and your manager is ready for a breakdown (Francona has dropped about 15 pounds over the last month, in case you hadn't noticed) then it is time to go.

ShoreysStories said...

The deal went happended of course. We will miss him in some ways and for me in some ways I will not.

I'm grateful for his help in those World Series teams. It was time for him to go, at least for me.

So, can we win the World Series this year without him? Before you answer think back to when Nomar was traded. hmm