I Know It Won’t Last, But I’m Loving It So Far

So, funny story. A certain future Hall of Fame outfielder (let’s call him “Manny R.” No, that’s too obvious. “M. Ramirez.” Am I even outdoing myself with these Simpsons references?) who’d been enigmatic in his previous home, to put it nicely, decides he no longer wants to stay where he is and forces his way out. After an ugly divorce, he shows up in his new home and has done nothing but fustigate the ball and make friends with everyone he comes across.

Needless to say? The Boston papers are a little less than pleased. Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe

The Dodgers sold more than $125,000 worth of Manny jerseys before hitting the road. These are the same people who previously knew No. 99 only as Barbara Feldon or Anne Hathaway.

Excellent point, Dan. Los Angeles has absolutely no experience with anyone associated with No. 99, especially not exactly twenty years ago this week. Nope. Never.

I especially like the accusations of Manny dogging it, or as Dan puts it:

Manny’s only leverage was withholding services and playing at half speed. So that’s what he did.

In July, Manny only OPS’d 1.060 – his highest monthly mark of the season. If that’s “half-speed”, then theoretically if he was playing all out he’d have OPS’d 2.120. That’s.. not half bad.

Kevin Cullen, also of the Globe?

We gave the Dodgers Nomah. We gave them Derek “Hello, I’m Brian Daubach of the Boston Red Sox” Lowe, and, last but surely not least, we gave them Manny.

Technically, you gave the Cubs Nomar, but you know, that’s just if you’re interested in factual accuracy and all. But hey, wicked burn with the Brian Daubach line, except that.. it doesn’t make any sense? Way to compare that guy who played a little over four years in Boston and was basically out of baseball by age 30 with the guy who’s been an effective starter and closer for a decade now, and was a central part of ending the 86-year title drought. Dead on, that.

Further on in this article, Cullen continues to prove that he’s amazingly bad at making fun of people:

the Dodgers gave Manny the number 99. It’s not every ballplayer who gets his IQ on his jersey.

Wouldn’t that have worked a little better if Manny was wearing, oh, I don’t know, any number other than the highest number you can have on a baseball jersey? And especially better if 99 wasn’t actually just a tick higher than the average American’s IQ?

But what about the future, Boston Herald columnist Tony Massarotti?

Manny and the Dodgers, sittin’ in a tree. The perfect summer fling. They use him and he uses them. A superficial Hollywood relationship built on nothing but sexiness and star power.

Three months, tops.

Well, yeah, that’s what I hope happens. Manny leads the Dodgers to a championship – and then someone else gives him $80 million for his age 37-39 seasons, while the Dodgers collect two draft picks to replenish the system.

As for the idea of keeping Ramirez in Los Angeles, does anyone else find it odd that the Dodgers are saying nothing on this matter? There is no talk of how much the organization would like to keep him. No talk of how the Dodgers viewed this transaction as something other than a short-term rental.

I’m pretty sure you’re the only one who finds it “odd”. He’s been on the team for a week – and Scott Boras never lets high-profile clients avoid exploring free agency. Manny’s happy and motivated, and bringing up contract issues will only distract him from that. So yeah, I’d say they’re doing the right thing on that front.

Besides, the Sox made out like bandits on this deal. How often do you get to trade a unhappy clubhouse distraction on the verge of free agency for an All-Star outfielder seven years his junior, who’s under contract next year for less than half as much – and has been hitting almost as well as Manny since arriving in Boston?

On a personal note, Manny Ramirez sprayed me with a hose in the home clubhouse after the Red Sox clinched the 2003 AL Wild Card. So there’s that.

- Mike Scioscia’s tragic illness msti-face.jpg