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The Sports Daily > Firebrand AL
Manny Ramirez trading Beans for Apples?

I’m off to the land of Cape Cod, meaning I’ll be without a computer for a solid week. When I come back, will it be a new landscape?
Will the Mets finally pry their prize, Manny Ramirez, from the Red Sox?
Will the Red Sox have recieved Aubrey Huff (a great hitter who has been slipping) and a renowed defensive outfielder who has had a good offensive season?
Or will the Red Sox have succeeded in prying more people from the Mets (as they should)?
Will we be off the hook for $64 million, money that can be used with awesome powers this offseason?
Will the Devil Rays, with their staggering haul (Yusmiero Petit, Lastings Milledge, Kelly Shoppach, and Anibal Sanchez for only AUBREY HUFF! – okay, Danys Baez too, but he’s hardly Mariano Rivera) become a dominant force from 2007-2017?
Will this trade spark the Red Sox like it did last year?
Personally, this trade is amazing for the Devil Rays and solid for the Mets. I’m not so keen on just getting a probability in Cameron and a possible enigma in Huff – and nothing else in return.
Huff does not have much defense to mark, so while he could start off in left field, what when Nixon comes back? With Nixon’s leg issues, a move to left (and Cameron staying in right) isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Huff is more a 1B/DH. That means two DHs and four 1Bs (Millar, Olerud, Huff, Ortiz). Someone else has to go. If we can get a solid pitcher in return (Braden Looper?) then you should pull the trigger and eat the decline in offense for an increase in defense, flexibility, money, attitude, and pray Huff reverts to 2003 form. It’s a risk much like last year.
Only time will tell if this risk pans out. If it does, Theo is truly a genius. If not, it’s a season wasted. For mark my words, more will be at stake in this blockbuster trade than it was for the Nomar trade.

Comments

  1. A few observations:
    1. The Red Sox are not making this deal. The back pages of both the Globe and Herald are making this deal. The same newspapers that allowed a hopeless drunk, Colonel Dave Egan, to torment Ted Williams are now tearing apart the Red Sox … and Boston won its first World Series in 86 years.
    2. Manny Ramirez is no Ted Williams. Manny Ramirez is perhaps the finest right-handed hitter in the game today. Ramirez has always been able to hit for average and power, and drive in runs at a ridiculous rate. Williams was a legend and a Hall of Famer. Ramirez, if he avoids a Juan Gonzalez melt down and the Globe/Herald attack dogs, will join Williams in Cooperstown.
    3. Manny Ramirez is no Terrell Owens, Jose Canseco, or Kobe Bryant. Ramirez seems to be able to function as a law-abiding member of society. Ramirez has never been arrested. We've never heard about Ramirez with a drinking/drugs/"juice" problem. Ramirez does not beat women, get in public arguments with ladies, or wander around Greater New England doing Shawn Kemp impersonations. Ramirez doesn't walk around calling himself a deity or speaking about "Manny" in the third person. Ramirez does not "throw down" outside clubs at 3 a.m., scream for "respect," claim he is the "victim," or roam the streets of Beantown with his "posse."
    4. Manny Ramirez is peculiar, but in an artist-like way. Ramirez's complaints follow a pattern similiar to those of my all-time favorite ballplayer, the late-Roberto Clemente. Ramirez mumbles about being tired, needing space, wanting privacy, not feeling well. The Pittsburgh press ripped Clemente for being lazy, disinterested, unprofessional, and, back in those days, went so far as to print his less than perfect English word for word in the local rags. (More on this aspect later.) Ramirez reminds me more of a violinists for the Boston symphony, some clown lead singer of a punk band, stage performer, or screen actor with gripes about the kind of water they drink and what time of day they sit in the sun. Petulant, to be sure, but not Terrell Owens.
    5. The Boston Red Sox just won their first World Series in 86 years. Now Laughing Larry, Steinbrenner Part Deux, wants to pull a Reggie Jackson and dump one of the two finest sticks in the Sox lineup. Someone out to sit Laughing Larry down (Perky Couric?) and calm the man. He's acting like George. Do you want George in Beantown?
    6. Lastly, most importantly and sure to get me a visit from a few Sinn Fein boys in Southie, the reason Manny Ramirez is taking all of this crap right now is the same reason that Mo Vaughn took it, that Jim Rice took it, that even Bill "11 Rings" Russell took it. Manny Ramirez is not white. (By the way, I am white. So there goes that conspiracy theory.) Boston, hell New England, has made life very uncomfortable for minority players. (Last team to integrate: Sox)
    Watch the Patriots: Brady held a firm line in negotiations during the offseason, got the deal he wanted, and he's accepted. Like Brady, Richard Seymour wanted a new deal in the offseason. Seymour didn't get a new pact. Watch the Globe, Herald and all the local rags rip Seymour apart, accuse him of taking advantage of the Pats minus Bruschi and Johnson, etc.
    New England adopts the Howie Carr mentality toward the Manny Ramirezs, Richard Seymours, Mo Vaughns, Jim Rices, Dee "Face Down On The Ground, Punk!" Browns, and even Bill Russells.
    Jim Rice and Fred Lynn came up together. Rice broke the wrist in September '75, knocking him out for the season. Sox win the pennant, Pudge hits the pole, and Freddy wins the MVP and ROY and becomes a God in New England. Freddy left for $greener$ pastures. Rice stayed in Beantown. Rice was the finest American League hitter of his era. Didn't matter. The Sox front office dumped Rice. The Globe and Herald, except for Peter Gammons, followed the front office's lead. All these years later, New England still thinks more of Lynn, who left, than it does of Rice, who stayed.
    Lastly, if the Sox deal Ramirez, what do you think it will take for them to sour on David Ortiz? Edgar Renteria has already taken a load in just his first season. What happens when Papi comes up with sore knees in a couple of years due to his size? The Globe and Herald will pound Papi with fat stories and make his life a living hell.
    Call in Boston and Greater New England gratitude to those local professional athletes who don't serve on the house staff at the Cape.

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  2. Evan stole the topic for my guest column tomorrow! Of course, it's his site, so. In any case, more Manny-related discussion is coming.

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  3. All I can say is that the Red Sox had damn well better not have to pay to be rid of Ramirez.
    Manny made a mistake when he signed that millstone of a contract. The Red Sox also made a mistake when they signed that millstone of a contract. Together, they instantly created a situation that indelibly linked their fates for almost a decade. Because make no mistake, that contract is a bruiser: Manny is a Hall of Fame bat, but nobody wants that contract.
    Now, you can't blame Manny for wanting the money, but at least you'd think Manny would have considered wisely whether he also wanted to spend is the next 8 years of his career & life in Boston.
    Turns out, he doesn't. And we're going to have to accept a lesser player if we trade him. That's a serious hit to our lineup. So all I'm saying is that we damn well better not have to send along any money too.
    Hey, I've got a novel idea. It's Manny who wants off the Red Sox, and not the Red Sox who want to dump Manny. So how 'bout this: if his contract is so prohibitive that nobody wants to take him, and if he still insists that he wants out of Boston, then how 'bout we allow a window for Manny to negotiate with his prospective buyers and dump some of that money he's owed?
    Oh, I know, but the Players' Association would never hear of it. Yeah, but it makes sense that the Red Sox have to get screwed on two fronts if they trade Manny– first in terms of the offense when we lose his bat, second in terms of the payroll when we have to $pon$or his fanciful desire to be traded. Fuck that. If Manny wants out, let him pay his own way. Players' Association be damned.

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  4. If the Red Sox aren't eating any contract whatsoever, trading Manny Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez and Kelly Shoppach for Aubrey Huff and Mike Cameron would, I think, be a solid trade.

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  5. John… you're insane. Sorry. I dn't know you, I'm sure you're a very nice guy, but you're nuts. Manny Ramirez alone is not worth those two players. Throwing in a valuable catchig prospect and the team's 2nd best pitching prospect makes that the knd of trade people will look back on and laugh at 10 years from now. You know how much money will be saved in 2006 on that deal? 3.5 million. You know how much production will be lost? A ton ore than $3.5 million worth. All because a guy loped it down to first base (and was SAFE!) and then sat out a game. I swear to god, if this deal goes down, and Sox fans all applaud… We need a long hard look.

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  6. I am soooo sick of that old racist battlecry. It's a lame excuse. New England is no better or worse than any other area of the country that I've spent time in. Better than most, actually. How 'bout Atlanta? They not racists down there?
    Anyway, you see where I'm going with that. As to your other comments, Mark:
    1) David Ortiz is out of shape. The newspapers choose to ignore it for now, mostly because his statline speaks (loudly) for itself. Mo was out of shape, too.
    2) How does your racist theory explain the rap Nomar got on his way out of town?
    3) RRRedgar RRRenteria gets reamed because of his large salary and pisspoor play, not because of the color of his skin. Our expectations were too high. Still, his play hasn't added up to match his pay, and that won't make you popular anywhere.
    4) For that matter, Mark Bellhorn gets reamed too. Again, as with Nomar, Bellhorn is white, so how does your theory apply? I say the problem is one of an entirely different nature. Boston just doesn't like poor play from the lads who represent the Olde Town Team: color of skin has nothing to do with that.
    5) Boston also dislikes "petulant" (as you say) ballplayers: you boys make your living playing the greatest game in the world before some of the best fans in baseball, now act like it. It's the same for Manny that it was for Teddy Ballgame. Again, color of skin means nothing.
    6) Tom Brady is the Patriots. Not a great analogy.
    7) Right on with comments 2, 3, and 4 about Ramirez and comment 5 about Unlucky Larry.

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  7. There may be something to the race issue, though. There's no way it's the only issue at play here…obviously Manny's supposed "attitude" is the main thing. Much as I hate to admit it, it seems that there is a different standard for the white guys on the team.
    Before he got hurt, Trot Nixon had committed several stupid baserunning gaffs in his past couple of games that proved costly. He got picked off at second with the bases loaded during the rain-out game in Baltimore. During the 10-inning loss at Tampa Bay, he was so far off 2nd base that Olerud's line drive hit him, making him out. They were stupid, stupid mistakes on his part, and the press basically gave him a free pass for both of them. But when Manny "fails" to run out a routine ground ball that by all accounts looked like and inning-ending DP, he gets ripped apart for not "hustling." The media can't talk enough about it.
    What I'm trying to point out is that both Manny and Trot have done some pretty bone-headed things in the field of late, yet it seems to me that the press makes a bigger deal out of Manny's mistakes as opposed to Trot's. Coincidence? Maybe. But it seems fishy enough to take into consideration.

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  8. Getting hit by a line drive isn't stupid. It's just not lucky.
    Getting picked off, that was bad. But then again, Trot has been playing on a bum quad all year … and I mean, it's not like he was a world-class sprinter to begin with. At least he has a kind of excuse there.
    Also, Trot Nixon doesn't make $20m a year. He has nowhere near the high profile that Manny (reluctantly) has. Different animal, I'd say.
    And furthermore, nobody ever accused Nixon of being lazy. That's the heart of the issue with Ramirez, and in that respect Nixon is the anti-Manny. Nixon occasionally makes mistakes, and he sometimes pulls out a web gem or two, but whatever happens, you know he's gonna leave it all on the field. Can you say the same for Manny? I think not. Look, running out your ground balls is pretty basic (although I think Joe Morgan was being chickenshit when he criticized Manny for not running out a foul popup). You hit the ball, you run to 1B. You hit the ball, you run to 1B: it's what ballplayers do. Why does Manny think he's so special? Is he too good for 1B or something?

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