Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Keep Manny

The talks over any Manny Ramirez trade seem to have stalled, according to to the Globe's Gordon Edes. A new deal, however, involves Edgar Renteria going to the Braves in a three-way deal that'll net the Sox Julio Lugo from the D-Rays.

Trading Manny would be a disaster. The very thought scares the Hell out of me. Moving Manny now would mean losing TWO power hitters, because no one would pitch to Ortiz with Trot hitting cleanup. Even a Glaus or Alfonso Soriano behind Papi isn't a guarantee of future success.

I honestly don't get the frustration with Manny. People scream every time he gets a day off, but he played 152 games this year--he only had 10 days off. They moan that he doesn't hustle down the line, but his OBP is .388 and OPS is an insane 0.982. And that's a down year for Manny.

It's amazing that after all these years, people still cling to old, discredited baseball myths. Hustle is a definite plus for any baseball player, but I'd rather take Manny's jog down the line and his .300/40/150 than Troy Glaus's hustle and .250/35/100, thank you kindly. Manny makes about a dozen mistakes a year in left field. Let's dock him a week's worth of RBIs and then compare his numbers to everyone else. Still want Orlando Cabrera instead?

There are other former batting champions in the league. There are other World Series MVPs in the league. And other RBI leaders, and other Hank Aaron and Silver Slugger award winners. Manny is all these things. He's also one of only about five or six current players who could reach Hack Wilson's RBI record (Manny, Papi, Giambi, Sheffield, Pujols and who?).

So maybe we all need to take a step back and realize that as this guy goes, so goes the franchise. It will take two power hitters to replace him. This off-season is incredibly thin, and the best hitter available --Paul Konerko--is already gone.

You get a deal in place and give me a call. Then we'll talk about whether any new combination replaces what Manny brings to the table.

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