According to ESPN.com, Albert Pujols is encouraging the St. Louis Cardinals to sign future Hall of Fame slugger Manny Ramirez. While there has been no other sign of communication between Ramirez and the Cardinals front office, the prospect of adding arguably the scariest hitter last season into the line up with arguably the scariest hitter ever is certainly raising some eye brows.
The article says that Pujols speaks to Manny a few times a week on the phone, and the two of them cannot figure out why Ramirez can’t get a deal anywhere.
The answer to that conundrum is simple, unfortunately Manny is too busy being Manny to figure it out. It’s your agent buddy. The truth is that Scott Boras (Ramirez’s agent) refuses to come to terms with a slowing economy as he continues to try and push the market bigger and bigger. So while younger stars like C.C Sabathia and Mark Teixeira can still get mega-deals, teams (who aren’t wearing pinstripes) are being sensible about signing a 36-year-old outfielder with baggage.
His talent, and even his work ethic are unquestionable. His desire to play into his 40’s, be a leader in the clubhouse, and whether or not he knows where he is the majority of the time is. But with that uncertainty there is one unquestionable truth:
If Manny Ramirez dumped Scott Boras, lowered his asking price to 2 years for 40 million dollars, he would be on a team tomorrow.
It’s amazing what green (money, not the herb) colored glasses will do to ball players. It seems so simple for us fans and executives, yet it’s so hard for the players to understand. Yes Scott Boras will demand more money, but no, teams won’t want to deal with him. The players must think we can’t understand what it’s like to turn down all that money to play baseball. Maybe that is why it took Warren Buffet in the summer of 2008 to convince A-Rod to drop Boras, the only person Mr. A-rrogant would listen to is the richest man in the world.
Manny needs to pull back his deadlocks and see the light. It’s February and he has no team. No one has budged to bite the bullet and sign him to a contract the think is unfair, in fact the Dodgers retracted their first offer. The Mets are showing no interest, the Yankees are spent, and the Red Sox are off limits. The Cardinals are an intriguing option but do they really have that kind of money? It’s time for Manny to suck it up, take 40 million dollars, and go play some baseball. It’s what he was born to do.
Manny in Washington?
At first glance that question may seem ludicrous, especially in bold. Why would the Nationals sign an old outfielder who has no leadership ability to a big deal?
Well…because we can. If you loyal readers remember I was adamantly against the Mark Teixeira deal. Not because I didn’t like his talent, or because I didn’t think we needed a 20 million dollar a deal player on the roster, but because I didn’t like the length of the contract. Don’t pay for fan excitement now if it will hurt the team when they’re ready to compete.
Ramirez however is different. He will likely only play three or four more years, and will be out of town by the time the team is competitive. In the mean time he will provide excitement with his bat, his fielding (not necessarily positively, but it will be exciting!) and his antics. This would not be a move for our future, but one to hold us until we get there.
It will also give Nats fans a little bit of history and a little something to be proud about when Ramirez gets inducted on his first ballot into the Hall of Fame. Not to mention he will be closing in on 600 homers in the not so distant future, what better a place than Nationals Park?
So Mr. Bowden, go ahead and let Manny distract us while you prepare the future. Let Manny come into our clubhouse and show young players how you really prepare for a season and game. Show Ryan Zimmerman what it’s like to see a fastball when he hits in front of one of the best hitters of all time. And let Manny remind Nationals fans what a feared hitter looks like wearing a curly w.
“I’m sick of following my dreams. I’m just going to ask them where they’re going and hook up with them later.”-Mitch Hedberg