First and foremost I want everyone here to realize I am a die hard Red Sox fan, and I wish the best for the team in any way shape or form. I have my personally opinion's on the way this team is being run right now and I felt it would be a good time to let a lot of it off my chest here. I figured I'd say this because a lot of what I am going to say isn't going along with the way the Red Sox team is being run.
Let's date back to last year in spring training. Manny Ramirez is quoted as saying how much he enjoys the time here in Boston and he wants to end his career here and he wants his option years picked up as soon as possible. Now Manny Ramirez has option years on his contract for the single purpose of that if he produced to a high level he should get two more years added to his contract, now since he was signed by the old Red Sox management who on the Red Sox has performed better than Manny Ramirez, no one. Who has performed better in the league than Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez and that may be it overall. So why is it a problem to pick up the option at that point in time?
Now we will skip ahead to June, Ramirez hasn't had his option picked up at this point and the Red Sox are coasting alone without David Ortiz who is out due to a rist injury. J.D. Drew has taken his place in the order at the three hole and has one of the best Junes in history, no coincidence when he goes back down after Manny in the lineup his numbers drop back down. Ramirez makes everyone that bat's ahead of him better, without Manny Ortiz doesn't have the big walk-off's beacuse he would just be walked instead, other teams had to respect Manny Ramirez behind him, as Manny reminded us in the ALDS against the Angels in 2007.
Back on track, we head to the trade deadline where Manny Ramirez for the past couple weeks has been half-assing it because he is upset with the none negotiations about the Red Sox management not picking up these option years. Theo Epstein becomes aggitated by this display, which rightfully so Manny is being paid a lot to play. Theo takes it to an extreme and trades him to the Dodger's in a three team deal where we also get rid of a few other players including Craig Hanson who I honestly believed had a bright future here. In return we received Jason Bay from the Pirates who is a very solid player. Fine, Theo makes the trade and gets rid of Manny for Bay, but the problem I had with this as well was Manny went to L.A. didn't say a word of Boston. But Theo made a few remarks throughout the media about how he was voted out and all this other stuff, when asked about it on ESPN recently Alex Cora said that it wasn't as big of a problem as it was made out to be and that he was on Manny's side now that Cora is no longer part of the organization. Also asked was Mike Lowell one of the most respected members of the Red Sox and he said that he would make no comment either way, now if he felt Manny should have been gone he could have just said that because he would be agreeing with Red Sox management but he seemed that he did not agree with the move.
A couple months later we are in the ALCS against The Rays in the last couple innings begging for a big hit with so many opportunities and nothing coming of it, what Red Sox fan would not have wanted to see Manny come up in that inning with the bases loaded? There is a good chance we win that series if we have his bat and we go to the World Series. But that's all speculation if he stayed maybe the clubhouse falls apart and we don't make it that far. Right? WRONG. This is the big problem I have with this situation, why the hell does a baseball team need to all be good friends? Now everyone knows no one on that team hated Manny he was there for all the wins! Would Dustin Pedroia not have had the year he had if Manny was there? Would he have gotten up to bat and been thinking "Man that Ramirez I can't stand him!" followed by a big strikeout? No. Baseball is a game of numbers, and is a game of a batter and a pitcher it's not about a batter a pitcher and everyone else on the bench. You may have you're own opinion on that but that is how I feel and I'm sticking to it, we won with him before we could win again. He is one of the best hitters in the history of the game, that wasn't going to change in the last half of the year, he wasn't going to all of a sudden put up Julio Lugo or Jason Varitek numbers.
By this point you are wondering why did I name this blog post "Theo..."? All I have talked about is Manny Ramirez. Well this is why, we have hit this off season and we are seeing the way Scott Boras has just chewed up the Red Sox and Theo and spit him out. He took Manny out of Boston and he is going to get a nice contract, he played Theo like an idiot and landed Teixera in New York. Now he has Varitek to screw with Epstein which in my opinion I don't care if he comes here or not, but in the end Boras will make Epstein look like a fool once again.
What happens if Theo just signed Manny's option years way back at the beginning where would we be? There would have been no problems leading to the deadline, we probably would have been as good as we were in 2007. Now the Yankee's are a power house, and the Ray's we couldn't beat last year anyways. But what is Theo going to do, he's going to do nothing but sit back and watch. What he should do is figure out a way to get Ramirez back here, what is there to loose? We need his bat power, the way it look's right now we can't compete with the Yankee's, and we lost to the Ray's anyways. What happen's if Manny get's signed to the Angels then what? I don't like the thought of Theo giving up on this year just because he won't swallow his pride and sign Manny back to compete. But the most likely scenario is we sit back and just wing it for the rest of the year and see what happens. We'll have to wait and see what great trick Theo has up his sleeve.