Manny being bye-bye

August 1st, 2008 → 10:40 am @ // No Comments

Some quick thoughts on the biggest trade since…well, since as far back as I can remember. (This dwarfs the Nomar deal of four years ago. Dwarfs, I say!)

* After three straight years of 150+ games a season, Manny topped out at 130 and 133 in ’06 and ’07. In that time, he hit 1 HR per 17.3 ABs and had an RBI every 1.4 games; over 150 games, that comes out to 32 HRs and 107 RBIs. That’s an impressive season. It’s also significantly off what he was doing previous to that in Boston, when he averaged 1 HR per 15.3 ABs and an RBI every 1.15 games, which comes out to 36/130.

* His OPS last year was 120, the lowest since he played 91 games in Cleveland as a 22-year-old rookie. His slugging dipped to below .500 for the first time ever. This year, even at .529, it’s lower than any other season save for last year and his rookie campaign.

* Much of the commentary thus far has been along the lines of, “the Red Sox are a worse team today than they were yesterday. That’s true if you assume Manny’s in the game. As Peter Gammons pointed out recently, he’s shown a tendency to ask for some time off when the Sox are facing particularly tough pitchers: this year he’s sat against Verlander, Duchscherer, King Felix (twice), and Joba (twice). Against those four pitchers he’s 3/20 with 7 Ks and no extra-base hits. (Amazingly, he appears — at least according to ESPN — never to have faced Joba.)

* In 2006, Manny logged 28 DNPs over the last 36 games. At the beginning of that stretch, the Sox were 5.5 out. They finished the year 11 back and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2002. That was the year, incidentally, that Papi broke the Sox’s all-time HR record, finishing the year with 54 round-trippers and 137 RBIs. There are those on the team that feel that Manny’s absence not only cost the Sox a shot at the playoffs but cost Ortiz the MVP award as well. I’m not one of them; I’m just throwing it out there.

Finally, despite the Sox’s valiant efforts to keep clubhouse disputers in the clubhouse, there are two incidents that couldn’t be hidden:

* On June 26, Manny shoved Red Sox traveling secretary Jack McCormick to the ground when McCormick told him he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to get him 16 tickets to an Astros game, shouting, “Just do your job.” Let me re-phrase: the 36-year-old Manny Ramirez, a professional athlete who is paid $20 million a year to lift weights and stay in shape, shoved the 64-year-old Jack McCormick, a traveling secretary who is paid to make sure the players make it on the team plane, to the ground.

* On June 5, Manny took a swipe at Youkilis in the team’s dugout…apparently because he didn’t like how seriously Youk took every at-bat.

On the flip side of things:

* If the Sox had been able to keep Manny on the field, they’d have gotten a draft-pick when Manny signed with another team in the offseason, and the Sox have a good track record of taking advantage of those compensation picks. (See: Buccholz, Clay and Martinez, Pedro.)

* Things will not be pretty at Fenway if Jason Bay ends up being an Edgar Renteria.

* Picking up the rest of Manny’s salary, giving up Hansen and Moss, and getting only Bay in return…well, it does seem like a lot. Even if Bay is signed for under $8 for next year.

There you have it. My somewhat random thoughts. Oh, one more:

* It’s going to be an interesting couple of months.

Post Categories: Jason Bay & Manny Ramirez & Trade Deadlines

7 Comments → “Manny being bye-bye”

  1. BostonYankeeFan

    15 years ago

    You really hit the nail on the head; the Sox are not in a worse position now without Manny. There’s a small offensive drop-off between Manny and Bay, but it’s almost negligble. Although Bay’s fielding has fallen off the past couple of years, he’s still an upgrade from Manny. Plus, they have Bay guaranteed next year, at a very low salary.

    All in all, a great deal for the Sox. They traded a headache, got an All-Star leftfielder, and gave up two prospects who weren’t in their plans anyway.


  2. jeffreynye

    15 years ago

    Why is it “amazing” that Manny has never faced Chamberlain? Chamberlain hasn’t even been in the league for a full year yet, and has only faced the Red Sox twice as a starter. Chamberlain additionally faced the Red Sox only three times as a reliever 4.1 IP), and Manny did played in one of those games, but didn’t face him.


  3. floridagirl25

    15 years ago

    Good stuff, just like all the Manny posts this week. I don’t care much for idle speculation and rumors, but I’m very interested in the business of baseball. Just like any deal, Sox management has to look at both sides of the balance sheet, plus the intangibles, and make the best decision.

    As a fan, I can’t help but feel some resentment towards Manny for putting “my” team in this positon. It didn’t have to be this way.


  4. maranara

    15 years ago

    What are your thoughts on the news today that Theo met with “team veterans” Wednesday night, who told him that they didn’t feel like they could count on Manny? To me, that’s the moment when Theo realized he HAD to trade Manny. Look at Youk’s reaction to the win tonight – I think this really did lift a weight off of the team’s shoulders.


  5. branatical

    15 years ago

    Definitely, Youks reaction said it all. Look at his reaction to Bay’s triple.

    I love Manny and I am sad to see him go. He is so great and can be so fun to watch. I would have loved to have seen him retire a Red Sox and have his number hanging on the side of Fenway, but that’s wishful thinking for a bygone baseball era.

    This was inevitable, maybe premature but the end had to come at some point. It’s like a tough breakup. In the end, Manny tried to come back, but the damage was done and Theo wouldn’t have him. I hope that Ortiz can get on, and I am a little concerned about his immediate reactions. I think Ortiz fed off of Manny. Manny somehow reassured Ortiz that Big Papi is the man. I also do not want to see Manny DHing in the Bronx next year.

    Seth, would love to hear your thoughts on the Nomar reaction. You’ve wrote extensivley about his trade. It’s typical and somewhat pathetic to see him still crying foul. But this does beg the question, can or will a Red Sox ever leave the team in honor? With Varitek’s decline and contract near it’s end, we may have another situation coming up, then there is Ortiz. It seems our pinstriped friends find a way to take care of their own, even if it’s not in the best interest of winning. The Posada deal is looking really bad right now, but was it still the right thing to do?

    We’re the sentimental fans, at least Theo is not. Got to hand it to him, even this time Henry didn’t want Manny to go but Theo held to his convictions. It’s worked in the past.


  6. Shalomar

    15 years ago

    In the plus column, you forget to note Manny’s playoff stats.

    In the 04 and 07 playoffs, Manny hit .350 with 6 HRs, 27 RBIs, and an OPS over 1.000. That’s clutch.

    Let’s face it, the Sox would not have 2 rings without Manny. He’s a freak and a solipsist, but he’s also one of the top 10 hitters of all time and his legacy should primarily be based on what he did in the batters box to help his team win.


  7. tinisoli

    15 years ago

    What interested me the most about the post-trade commentary was the oft-repeated idea that Manny had ìwonî or that the Sox had ìcavedî to the childish demands of a petulant, fickle athlete. Letís face it: MLB players have tremendous leverage these days. If and when a player decides to start jogging down the line and laughing about errors and playing only when he feels like it, thereís only so much that can be done to truly rein in that player or set him straight. What was the front office going to do, try to void his contract? I donít think so. The players union wouldíve come to Mannyís defense, and in any event, the Sox season would have been destroyed if Manny sat out the rest of the season or forced the Sox to take legal action. Manny doesnít seem to have considered how much money his antics may have cost him in terms of future employment, but maybe Scott Boras really is smarter than all of us and he already knows where Manny will be next season and for how much money. Or maybe Manny would happily and knowingly forego millions of dollars just for the opportunity to go out to eat with Juliana, Manny Jr., and Manuelito without being hassled by overzealous fans. Whatever the case, the Sox made the wiser risk in this case, and so far it seems to be paying off. Bayís compact, quick swing seems tailor made for Fenway, and his salary is awfully palatable. Meanwhile, Manny may or may not abide by Joe Torreís haircut rules, and heíll probably be DHing fulltime in the Bronx next year.


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