Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Red Sox Would Be Crazy To Trade Manny [Addison Quale]

Just for starters, it's great to be invited to contribute to the American Legends Sports blog. I hope to offer a fresh perspective from Boston--though I hail from NY myself, so alas the Sox are the only Boston team I truly root for.

That being said, Dan Shaughnessy thinks that it's time Boston moved Manny. And what's amazing is that in his latest column he seems to go to great lengths to try to encourage Red Sox Nation to turn on their favorite loopy leftfielder. (It actually sort of reminds me of how a number of Boston reporters tried to turn Sox Nation against Nomar when he was on his way out. Of course I must admit, that they WERE successful in convincing me.) But I digress. Here is a bit of his column. After dancing around the issue and telling us why he's great for a number of reasons, he gets to the heart of the matter:

Sorry, folks. It's time for Manny to go. Time and again, he's made it clear that he doesn't want to play in Boston. He quit at the end of last season, and everyone in the Sox clubhouse knows this. The manager knows Manny quit. David Ortiz knows Manny quit. Curt Schilling knows Manny quit.

First off, the Sox foundered at the end of August because their team was a paper-tiger much of the season--just waiting to fall apart with all those veteran and oft-injured arms. Second, Manny didn't give up first. It was the rest of his team--the pitching in particular--that really blew it in the Yankees' series. Shaughnessy notes that Manny was monstrous in that series. It wasn't his fault that they got swept in the Boston Massacre part II. Third, give him a break! Do you have any idea how stressful it's gotta be to be one of the most famous baseball players in the world for 10 straight years? And every year everyone expects you to throw in your 45 homers and 130 RBIs. I know it's his job. But it's just an incredibly stressful job. So my point is, who cares if he took September off? The Sox were out of contention and I'd rather have a rested and happy Manny in 2007 than one run down and more tired than usual. (By the way--I wonder if there's a correlation between the Cardinals' World Series win and the fact that they really rested (almost too much) at the end of the regular season.) The fact of the matter is that Manny Ramirez is one awesome ballplayer. You cannot replace his production in the outfield. And he's going to be there when you need him. When the Sox didn't need him (because the season had already been blown) he took a break. I don't think that's a big enough issue--even combined with his moodiness and Manny-ness to trade a future Hall of Famer in his prime.