Manny Ramirez. One of the greatest hitters to ever set foot in a batters box. Not just from the right side either. One of the greatest hitters, period! Combine all of the left handed hitters and right handed hitters together, and Manny comes out in the top tier, the upper echelon of all time sluggers. I have seen Manny do things in the batters box that I have not seen from anyone. I have seen him crush a slider over the right center field fence, with consistency. I have seen him hit the ball away better than anyone I have ever witnessed. When he was completely focused, and was determined to hit the ball to the opposite field, there was no better hitter in the game, outside of the only hitter that was better, the one that resided in San Francisco. Last season, when the Anaheim Angels came to town, Manny and David Ortiz together, put on a show that I had never come across in my time of watching baseball. A tear that the two players basically took upon themselves to win the series singlehandedly (there was plenty of other help, it just felt like that). Manny posted a line of .375/.615/.1.125. Ortiz added in his hand which went a little like this: .714/.846/1.571. And they both continued there dominance in the second round helping the Red Sox hammer two “Ace” pitchers, at least last season, in Fausto Carmona and CC Sabathia. Some say those two “Aces” tired out as the season stretched out, but Carmona had just dominated the Yankees in the previous series. I think it was more of what might have been the greatest 3-4 combo that any lineup has ever seen. I know it is easily the greatest that I have ever seen.
Manny added an offensive game that few have ever contributed to a ball club. Manny’s “stick” has been 54% better than the average hitter over his career. And I would agree that he is a sure fire Hall of Famer, and still is. I will happily endorse his worth if anyone asks me. He is one of the greatest players of all time. The Los Angeles Dodgers just acquired a bat that may help them win the division, and they are getting a hitter who will be able to perform well come playoff time, if the opportunity does in fact present itself. But one player does not make a team, so the Dodgers look a little better than the Diamondbacks now, but it doesn’t propel them into the World Series, like some may think…
Which leads me to the Red Sox situation…The difference between Manny and Jason Bay down the stretch should not make too much of a difference. Manny is a better hitter and he has been doing it in a tougher league, and a tougher division than Bay has. But if the adjustment to a new league, and a new city isn’t too much for Bay, then the difference down the stretch shouldn’t be impossible to overcome, in terms of a postseason berth. The thing that worries me most, is the privilege that we had of watching the Ortiz and Manny combo. I don’t feel that Jason Bay could fill Manny’s shoes at the highest stage of the game, the playoffs. I am not saying that Bay won’t have success, because he may, but to do what Manny did last season is a lot to ask, for anyone. The rest of the Boston offense is good enough where they will still have one of the best in the game, but it isn’t quite as scary as it once was. And to rid of that distraction that was Manny Ramirez may loosen the clubhouse a little and help them get back on track. Jason Bay is a good player, who is cheaper, and a better defender. But he is not Manny Ramirez.. Although ultimately they get a fine player in return, who is more important looking forward toward the future. Because the Red Sox needed to get younger on offense eventually anyway.
And this…”Manny is misunderstood.” “Manny keeps the clubhouse loose.” “Manny never talks about his contract while working out in the Winter with teammates.”
…But right smack dab in the middle of a pennant race, he will not hesitate to speak his mind and disrupt what was as talented a team in Major League Baseball, seemingly tampering with a beautiful formula that won a championship in 2007.
“I love Boston fans.” Then Manny, hustle down the damn line when you hit a ground ball. “Show” the fans that you love them. Nothing speaks louder than the actions that you show to us. And if you are saying garbage, spewing garbage, and showing us a product that is good, but has some garbage mixed in, then we notice that. Without the fans, Manny, you don’t get paid. It is as simple as that. The consumer is needed for the product to be bought. And the product we bought was starting to widdle away the fine exterior, into the hostile, self absorbed and shall I say “fake” interior that was “Manny being Manny.” If Manny Ramirez truly cared about the Boston fans then he would have helped them try and win a World Series title this season, while keeping his mouth shut. He would have let the Red Sox exercise their right as to whether or not they were going to pickup the option by the deadline. A “right” that Manny Ramirez himself thought was ok in the offseason just before his first year in Boston, 2001. Apparently, Ramirez did not look ahead. Because had he done so, he wouldn’t have allowed a team option, let alone more than one of them.
Manny Ramirez one of the greatest hitters of all time. Manny Ramirez, someone I thought of as a fun loving guy, with a few flaws for many years, turned out to be a fraud. He wasn’t what we thought he was. And I am not just bitter because a future Hall of Famer walked out the door, I am bitter because he couldn’t shut his ******* mouth for two months, for the sake of the fans, and for the sake of his teammates. A player who wanted a four year contract more so than another World Series ring. We don’t see everything that goes on behind closed doors, but Manny presented us with enough to come to the conclusion that his next contract was more important than the fans that he said he “cared about.”
So the Red Sox did what they had to do. They parted ways with one of the greatest players of all time, while still giving themselves a chance to win a World Series by getting a return of Jason Bay. I am bitter because we lost a player that has been with the club for nearly eight years. I am bitter because the habit of seeing Manny’s name penciled in the fourth slot of the lineup card is now lost. And I am bitter because the chances of winning a World Series just became a little less likely. But I am not bitter that Manny wanted to leave, I am bitter that he couldn’t wait until after the year to try and solve this problem. That he couldn’t let the Red Sox do what he himself signed them off to do. And that he couldn’t let the ones who ultimately pay his contract, the fans, watch him for two more months while trying to obtain World Series ring number 3.