And I don't mean that in the way you just read it. I mean it in an I'm glad Manny Ramirez wasn't in the lineup this weekend and we won 3 of 4 anyway-kind of way. Sorry. That's how I feel.
Every year it's something else with this guy. This year, it's a balky knee. Let me just say this right now: if you're making close to $20 million to play baseball, patella tendonitis better not be the excuse you use to take yourself out of the lineup. I've had patella tendonitis. (Still do if going up the stairs is any indication.) But it hasn't stopped me from playing hockey every weekend--for free--and I'm 38 years old! Patella tendonitis is never going to prevent Manny Ramirez from busting it down the line. Manny Ramirez is going to prevent Manny Ramirez from busting it down the line. That's just the way he's wired. And that's why I sincerely hope someone takes him off our hands this off-season.
Now I know you Manny apologists out there are going to throw all his stats my way and ask me if I'm retarded. Maybe I am. I know he's one of the greatest right-handed hitters ever to play the game. I know he provides valuable protection for David Ortiz. I still contend Manny causes more grief than he's worth. I'd rather throw his salary at pitching and let the deadwood like Kapler roam around out there in left.
Here's an idea: Why don't we trade Manny to Colorado for Todd Helton? (They'd have to eat half the money they threw at Helton to lock him up through 2011 though. That was foolish.) Such a trade would save us more than a couple million next year? Then Manny can go hit 80 homeruns and bat .400+ in pressure-free obscurity, which is exactly where he prefers to do his business. We'd need to find a formidable right-handed stick for the 4-hole if the deal happened, but that's a problem for another day.
While I'm making suggestions, another guy I'd like to add to the roster for 2007 is Eric Byrnes. I love his passion, his hustle, and the way he plays the game. And maybe that's all I'm looking for--a little passion, some heart, someone who cares.
Maybe what I'm looking for is the opposite of Manny Ramirez.