Friday, August 1, 2008

Manny Ramirez is gone, and I am a happy camper

When you hear the name Manny Ramirez what do you think? Personally I think intimidating, fierce, powerful right handed bat, Hall of Fame hitter. How good Manny is cannot be understated. The guy is probably the best right handed hitter in the last decade, and the best I have ever seen. The guy simply is a machine at the plate. Bad pitching, mediocre pitching, great pitching alike, Manny hits them all. He has made life for Yankee fans such as myself a living hell.

Yesterday Ramirez was traded from the Red Sox to the Dodgers in a deal that netted the Sox Pirates star outfielder Jason Bay. Manny had more than wore out his welcome in Boston as he was now 'dogging' it on some plays, took games off with fluke injuries, and was almost unanimously voted out of his clubhouse. Out of 25 players, 24 voted yes when asked if Manny should be moved. The one that voted no is, you guessed it, David Ortiz.

The Sox were apparently eager to deal him as they sent away two decent prospects away in addition to Manny, and volunteered to pay the rest of his salary for this season.

Ramirez, a clear first ballot Hall of Famer, has owned the Yankees. In 200 career games against them, Ramirez hit .321 with 55 homers, 163 RBIs, a .411 on base percentage, a .618 slugging percentage and a 1.029 OPS. Save to say, the guy ate Yankee pitching for lunch. I won't miss, him coming up in a big spot against the Yanks and knowing the inevitable is going to happen with Manny sending a rocket somewhere for a game-changing base hit of some sort.

Unfortunately for the Sox, despite this man's immense talents, he was a total malcontent off the field at times, with it growing to an unbearable level this year. Many think this is a ploy by Manny's new agent, Scott Boras. The Sox have a team option this season, and if they had chosen to pick it up they would have paid Manny $20 million for next season. The thing is, Boras feels he can get Manny 4 years at $80 million, and if he successfully does that, he gets the commission from that contract. Whereas, if Boston had exercised the team option, Manny's previous agent would have earned the commission. It looks like it was a ploy by Boras, who is arguably the most powerful man in baseball. Manny then started his act and wore out his welcome. Manny was worth every penny of his $160 million contract as he has been the Sox best hitter since he arrived, and combined with Ortiz to provide the most feared 3-4 duo in the last 5 years, and one of the most feared duos in team history.

I don't think Ortiz' numbers will suffer, but I don't think he will he will end up with as many clutch hits in the past. I honestly believe Manny's presence is what enabled Ortiz to get this reputation as the best clutch hitter in baseball. If you want to walk Ortiz, you can't because an even BETTER hitter is in the on deck circle, possibly the best right handed hitter in baseball. Therefore Ortiz sees pitches to hit whereas otherwise he would not. Now, no one and I repeat no one will pitch to Ortiz in a big spot unless you absolutely have to do so. Mike Lowell is going to have to step up big time. He's no Manny, but he is pretty good. He will have a lot of opportunities, that's for sure.

Manny has haunted the Yankees for years, and the Sox have been trying to get rid of him for years, even to the point of placing him on irrevocable waivers. I've been waiting for this for years, and my ultimate reaction to Manny being traded is:

"Amen, its about damn time"

That is all.

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