Tuesday, January 6, 2009
at 1:14 PM Posted by futuremrsrickankiel
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