Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Manny Being San Franny?

As much as I'm generally opposed to lingering unproductively in the past [furtively shoves Joe Thornton sweater under desk], I don't think I'm alone in saying that, as a Boston fan, I'll always have a vested interest in where our beloved slugger of days past Manny Ramirez winds up. We've heard lots of talk this offseason about where His Dreadlockiness might be heading... fortunately, since I'm clearly the smartest person in the country, I've already solved that dilemma for everyone else by selecting the clear and most logical option for all parties involved:

Send Manny to the Giants.

Sure, this is partially motivated by a desire to keep Manny out of the AL (we all know he's destined to end his career as a DH, but he's not there yet). But come on, kids... this is a baseball match made in heaven. I feel like I should be leading a cheer in some sweaty-smelling Bay Area high school gym:

What do we need?


Who's gonna give it to us?


Not only would Manny's bat obviously echo thunderously throughout the balmy hitter's cakewalk that is AT&T Park, but he'd bring an element of star power to a team whose reigning Cy Young pitcher shockingly few people can name (hint: it ain't Randy Johnson). Star power is something we tend to place a lot of weight on in basketball and, to a lesser degree, football... but its importance in baseball is often overlooked. The Giants are middle-of-the-pack in NL attendance (it's only been a few years since they were a 100-win team... remember that?), but it's not just the fans that a hitter like Manny means. It means a sudden case for relevance from a team whose OPS+ last year was (ohmigod) 88. It means a powerhouse hitter in a division with easily the lamest hitting in the league (come back, Gonzo!), where one slugger can (and did! See 2008 LA Dodgers, The) make all the difference in the world. And, most importantly, it means redemption for a team whose record for the past two decades is riddled with the ugly legacy of a man whose giant (get it?) head and even larger ego hold, to this day, a monopoly on San Francisco's star power.

In possibly one of the least thoughtful baseball pieces I've read that wasn't by Jay Mariotti, the San Jose Mercury News' Mark Purdy took a strong stance against Manny's star power yesterday, arguing, "Sure, the Boston Red Sox won with him. But only because their clubhouse had several counter-Manny personalities with nearly as much talent." I'm sorry... in what dippy Bay Area coffeehouses is Pedro Martinez a "counter-Manny personality"? If anything, Manny's role on the Sox during our first glorious Series run was that of the anti-Pedro: the goofy, meandering Hardy to Pedro's spastic Laurel. Sure, Manny's gotten crotchety in his old age... but that was also partly due to a heavily soured relationship between him and the Sox front office. Who knows what went wrong there?

Look, I'm not saying Manny will have Bengie Molina and Omar Vizquel (he still plays, right?) weaving macrame necklaces and singing campfire songs in the Giants dugout within a week of spring training. I am saying, however, that the sheer magnitude of what Manny Ramirez' bat would do for this floundering West Coast team can and should outweigh asinine speculations about what kinds of shenanigans he might pull in San Francisco. (Manny being tranny?) There are two things we know about Manny: one, that he's an unabashed mercenary; and two, that he can hit the ball REALLY fucking far. If you write the check, he will come.

My favorite part of that Mercury News editorial, by the way?

To be certain, the Giants had to deal with Barry Bonds' character flaws. But as much of a pain as Bonds could be, there never was much doubt about his locked-in approach to the game. That's what kept his teammates, with the notable exception of Jeff Kent, from trying to strangle him.

Sorry, guy, but if you're in all honesty trying to make the argument that Barry Bonds is a less detrimental locker room presence than Manny Ramirez, you're off your freaking rocker. Plus, to my knowledge, no teammate has actually EVER tried to strangle Manny Ramirez; nor should the fact that Bonds' teammates were too terrified by the throbbing veins on his massive, juiced-up dome to go near him count as points in his favor in any sort of cosmic karma ledger.

Be smart, San Francisco. Sign Manny.

li'l D, this post is for you


Hazel Maes Landing Strip said...

"Plus, to my knowledge, no teammate has actually EVER tried to strangle Manny Ramirez;"

Nah, he gives them a sucker punch before they have the chance.

Pepster said...

Bonds was juiced up?

BTW - Tim Lincecum.

GHABB,Y~! said...

After seeing "Milk" this weekend, the idea of San Franciscans doing chants has taken on an entirely different meaning.

Shaun said...

Danny Tanner is cleaning his cleaning supplies in fervored excitement.

SmartyBarrett said...

I can already tell this is going to be wordy...

Another reason the Giants would love Manny (and should sign him) is that they had 94 home runs as a team in 2008. 94. HR. TEAM. That's the first time a team has hit less than 100 in a season since the '93 Marlins. Manny should be able to to at least hit 25% of that on his own. In addition, AT&T Park shifted moderately from a traditional pitchers park to a slight advantage for the hitter last year, although not much stock can be put into park factors year-to-year. The signing of Unit I think was a good one - combine him with Lincecum, Cain, and Sanchez (Barry Zito not pictured) and that is a formidable rotation. The G-Man got exactly ONE home run out of the SS position in 08 (some of these HR facts are fucking insane), so the addition of Renteria should help considerably. Giants SS's OPS'd for a whopping .576 in 08 and Vizquel is now a free agent. Lemme upgrade ya. Mix in Sandoval and Fred Lewis and they should have a better offensive year with or without Manny. But if they get him, I'm going to go ahead and say they'll win the NL West.

SmartyBarrett said...

Dick joke.

Rocco said...

This isn't the Sabres beat the Bruins 4-2 post I was expecting from FMRA.

A Pimp Named DaveR said...

Totally agree on the Barry Bonds issue. Bonds' teammates never wanted to strangle him because he refused to interact with them at all. He wasn't a bad teammate because he wasn't a teammate at all. Purdy's just misguided.

A Pimp Named DaveR said...

Also, I'm pretty sure that Manny was still breastfeeding when that picture was taken.

Raquel said...

batebaw gam

GHABB,Y~! said...

To paraphrase Dickens, there's a lonely La-Z-Boy Leather recliner in front of four empty lockers and a 60" plasma in the Giants clubhouse without an owner. Manny being Tinytimmy.

nfsffw said...

Kent had his chance to strangle Ramirez in LA, and as far as I know, he didn't even try. The Giants really don't need to sign Manny, so long as they are OK with sharing the cellar with San Diego. And the Holliday-less Rockies. And L.A. Holy shit how bad is the NL West?? Bud should do some realignment, send the yanx or Rays or, even better, BOTH to the coast in order to have a team or two that could at least compete in Triple A. Put the Pads and Rox in the AL East, and I'm one happy fan.

Recently the Cubs declared that they were focusing on one player, Milton Bradley, who they finally signed last week. This move provides some fine insight to those of us that wonder just how in hell a team can go 100 years without winning a ring. Bradley is a significantly less talented Manny, he has worn out his welcome everywhere he's played and gets hurt a LOT. How the Little Bears decided he, not Manny, was the Big Stick needed to finally get them over the hump pretty much guarantees this year's It's Not Gonna Happen Fail.
And what the fuck is with naming a team "Cubs"? Was Webelos taken? Or Kodiaks? Grizzlies? Fucking losers.

God I miss baseball.