A Blast Furnace League All Over Again

The news that the trade has been put back on the table is gathering steam among local Red Sox websites and organizations. ESPN refuses to run with this story, however, most likely because they don’t want to spend all that time on yet another ‘rumor’ unless it’s as legit as it was before. There is a rumor also going around about the RedSox.com masthead that it was just a redesign, it was innocuous. I am a little skeptical, but it is a perfectly good excuse. You will note that I used the word excuse.
Anyways, Manuel Aristides Ramirez Onelcida is signed through 2008, with a quick and dirty AAV of $20 million left (taken from Blue Manc Contracts). He has two club options for 2009 and 2010 at $20 million per year. Magglio Ordonez Delgago, on the other hand, is owed $14.0 million through 2004, which means he’d become a free agent after 2005. Manny and Magglio’s 162 game average stats are below:
Manny: 586/.317/.413/.598/134/41
Magglio: 615/.307/.365/.527/114/30
Let’s outline Magglio’s better points. More at-bats, better sluggage, very close batting average. Manny’s better points? He has a very good OBP and a great slugging percentage. Hitting-wise, Manny’s your (pardon the pun) man.
But that’s not all we judge people on. We also judge them based on the person they are, and based on their fielding and their speed. Manny had 3 stolen bases with one caught last year, while Mags was caught 5 times and swiped second (or third, it’s possible) 9 times. Mags also is a better doubles hitter and a much better triples hitter.
As for fielding, here’s the number of games each player has appeared in his fielding positions.
Manny: 689 RF, 247 LF, 229 DH
Magglio: 919 RF, 19 CF, 8 DH
As you digest this information, let me point out that Manny has played pro baseball for 11 seasons, Magglio for 7. Manny has a .985 fielding percentage, Magglio .988. And check this out: Manny’s Range Factor is 1.77, Magglio’s is 2.04 over their careers! Range Factor is when put-outs and assists are combined and then divided by innings. Simply put, it’s how many outs he contributes to a team per inning. Higher is better. Magglio’s Zone Rating in 2003 was .907, Manny’s was .789. Zone rating is the percentage of balls fielded by a player in his typical defensive zone. Therefore, Magglio is better. And it can all be inferred through this that Magglio is a better runner and a better fielder.
Now, the clubhouse. Manny keeps to himself, Manny doesn’t talk to the media, Manny wants to leave, Manny wants to play for the Yankees. Only Carl Everett is worse. (Well…maybe not. When he was here, he hated the Yankees. And now everyone says he’s really a good clubhouse person. But it doesn’t matter, Jurassic Carl is gone.) Magglio, on the other hand, would love to play in Boston, love to play alongside A-Rod. Magglio is the clear winner here. All in all, I’d take Magglio over Manny.
I’d certainly take Magglio/A-Rod over Nomar/Manny when I factor in this following argument that most Red Sox fans either ignore or do not know.
Magglio essentially replaces (and one could argue, exceeds) Nomar’s offensive production, exceeds Manny’s speed, defensive output, and clubhouse presence. A-Rod replaces (exceeds?) Manny’s offensive production, used to exceed Nomar’s speed by a lot, but now just pretty much replaces it, and exceeds clubhouse presence by far. It’s Nomar and Manny’s offensive output with defensive, speed, and clubhouse upgrades.
Now, the contracts. In 2004, Manny/Nomar
What do I think will happen? I am usually optimistic about the Red Sox, but I have to be pessimistic here. Right now, the news is that A-Rod is pretty much working on his own, trying to get everyone to agree. The mastheads of the websites are very suspicious, though. If something is going to happen, it’s going to happen before February. Do I think it will happen? No. I think all interested parties have moved on. And the Red Sox simply cannot move off the contract restructuring for A-Rod. They have a plan, and they’re sticking to the plan.
A congratulators to Paul Molitor and Dennis Eckersley. Eck, I’d love to see you in a Red Sox hat. But it’s fine with me if you go in as an A. Only you could publicly state in Boston that you want an Oakland hat and not a Red Sox hat and pretty much get away with it. I understand completely where you’re coming from. You grew up in Oakland, you loved Oakland, you reinvented yourself in Oakland. (But don’t forget you were a dominating starter in Boston, ended your career in Boston, spent 8 years in Boston, and still live near Boston…)

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