Manny being bye-bye

August 1st, 2008 → 10:40 am @

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