Archive for the ‘Manny Ramirez’ Category

Bye Bye Bye

Selling the Drama

I didn’t think Theo Epstein had it in him. I was confident that the Boston Red Sox were just going through the motions of trying to trade Manny Ramirez. I thought that all of the trade talk this past week was designed to show Manny that the Sox tried to grant his wish for a trade, but due to Manny’s bad attitude no one wanted him. I thought that this would be the motivation that Manny needed to put up monster numbers the next two months of the season and ensure the giant free agent contract that he so desired.

I guess I was wrong.

Goodbye, Manny. Hello, Jason Bay!

Why trade arguably the greatest right handed hitter in Major League history? For starters, Manny has always been about Manny. He doesn’t care about the game of baseball. He doesn’t care about the fans, and he sure as hell doesn’t give a crap about his teammates. If he did he wouldn’t have put himself in this situation.

Boston has always been a blue-collar, hard working city that prides itself on supporting a baseball team that always plays hard and gives 100%. That’s why guys like Trot Nixon, Gabe Kapler and Dustin Pedroia are fan favorites. The fans put up with Manny’s laissez-faire attitude as long as we could, but eventually his act grew tired.

Manny was set up to be the sixth Red Sox player to have his number retired at Fenway Park. He was going to be the guy would tell our grandchildren about, the same way we heard stories about Ted Williams. Manny was that good.

But that wasn’t enough for Manny.

Manny thrived in the spotlight, and if it wasn’t shining on him, another version of Manny would appear. The Manny that pouted and pulled himself from the lineup. The Manny that would never play through the same pain that each and every one of his teammates were playing through during the course of a long season.
The Manny that called out management and quit on teammates.

Don’t think for a second that dealing Manny across the country is going to change anything. He’s still going to be the guy that doesn’t run out ground balls and flops around the outfield. How will Manny’s defense be now that he’s actually going to have to cover some ground, without a 37-foot-tall security blanket right behind him? How will Manny’s numbers be affected going from an offensive paradise at Fenway to the land of the long fly-ball out?

These questions are going to be answered sooner rather than later. Manny can now be Manny, for as long as he wants to.

I’m just glad I don’t have to watch it anymore.

New York State of Mind

Don’t look now, but the New York Yankees have climbed to within three games of the AL East co-leaders Sox and Rays and are in Boston for a three-game set at Fenway Park that starts tonight. Like a bad case of athlete’s foot, New York refuses to go away. These guys have been decimated this season with injuries to Chien-Ming Wang, Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui. Add to that the disappointing pitching from Ian Kennedy and Philip Hughes, plus the media circus of the A-Rod/Madonna/Cynthia Rodriguez/Lenny Kravitz Quadangle, and it is a miracle that these guys are still in contention. What is Hank Steinbrenner pumping through the air conditioning ducts to keep these guys motivated?

I’m not sure that the Yankees have enough pitching to make a long run at the playoffs, but you can be certain that Hank Steinbrenner will mortgage the future at next week’s trade deadline to at least make it interesting.

Objects in the rearview mirror are closer than they appear.

Thefoulline.com Quick Hits

  • I don’t know what Joba Chamberlain’s problem with Kevin Youkilis is, but if he hits Youk again tonight, I hope he gets his face smashed in with a Louisville Slugger.
  • You can tell that autumn is here when the leaves change color, and you can tell it’s almost August when Manny Ramirez starts faking another injury. This season it’s his sore knee. It never fails.
  • The attendance at Tropicana Field for the last two games for the Rays was about 12,000 and 16,000. That equates to 30.1% and 40% of total capacity. I know that it’s not the temperature in Florida that’s keeping them away. It’s always fair-weathered in the dome.
  • Big Papi David Ortiz rejoins the Sox tonight after a long layoff. This might be the big move at the trade deadline that everyone has been hoping for.
  • Speaking of the trading deadline… I really hope that Boston deals Manny to the Mets for prospects, takes those prospects and adds a top-line Red Sox prospect to the mix, and makes a deal for Matt Holliday. He would make people forget about Manny pretty damn quick.
  • Playoff atmosphere at Fenway tonight, and there is no one better to have on the mound than the best big game pitcher in baseball, Josh Beckett.

Go Sox!

Fighting Temptations

Baseball fights are stupid. It’s essentially a pig pile of grown men. No one ever lands a clean punch, and all it does is increase the hostility between the two teams. Players’ egos are getting out of control.

With that being said, 3rd base coach DeMarlo Hale body slamming James Shields was awesome.

Thefoulline.com Quick Hits:

  • I would trade Coco Crisp for James Shields/Jonny Gomes any day of the week.
  • The Red Sox are a close-knit team, but you have to figure if anyone is going to fight in the Sox dugout, it’s going to be Kevin Youkilis and Manny Ramirez. Youk is an intense, hardworking, blue-collar player. Manny is a naturally talented, lazy idiot. I’d be surprised if this was the first fight between the two.
  • With Manny’s contract up at the end of this season, I think Boston should make a serious run at Colorado Rockies Matt Holliday. He’s younger than Manny, would have a comparable salary, can play left field, and would absolutely destroy Fenway Park.
  • Please, please, please…. let’s hope Jacoby Ellsbury didn’t break his wrist in last night’s game. If he did, the Sox are in big trouble. Ellsbury has been doing a great job as Boston’s table-setter.
  • After last night’s basebrawl game, the Rays are now neck-and-neck with the Yankees as public enemy number one at thefoulline.com
  • Jonny Gomes, Carl Crawford, and Akinori Iwamura are a bunch of punks. These three are the biggest cheap-shot artists I have ever seen. Punching Coco when he was being he held down by Dioner Navarro was cowardly. These three should receive longer suspensions than both Coco and Shields.
  • I have to mention Joba Chamberlain’s performance the other night at Yankee stadium: 2.1 innings, 148 pitches, 4 walks, 55,000 dejected fans, one foolish looking owner. Question: If a guy is playing great in the set-up role, why mess with that? Answer: Hank Steinbrenner is a friggin moron.
  • I hope the Rays enjoyed their 22 days in first place of the American League East. It will be the last time they sniff first for the rest of the year.

How Bizarre

Strange week for the World Champs. First, they received their second World Series ring in four years, and then they welcomed the biggest goat in their storied history back to Fenway Park. Meanwhile, the enigmatic J.D. Drew is crushing the ball, and Big Papi couldn’t hit a fastball if he were swinging a boat oar. Finally, their 2007 team M.V.P. went on the disabled list… and the team got better. Not to mention, the damn Yankees are in town for three games. Welcome back to the U.S.

Quick hits:

  • I can’t turn away from the television when Jonathan Papelbon is in the game. He’s always fun to watch. He reminds me of a mix between Al “The Mad Hungarian” Hrabosky and Nuke LaLoosh from Bull Durham.
  • Breaking News! Julian Tavarez sucks. I wish they had kept Kyle Snyder as their long reliever, and dumped Julian. But who would babysit Manny if he was gone?
  • Speaking of Man-Ram… 10 games into the season, and he’s already ignoring the third base coach and running through the stop sign. He was lucky to score this time. If he pulls this crap again, he should be benched.
  • Manny, please get a damn haircut.
  • Did you see the Sox fan that was building the new and improved Yankee Stadium and buried a Red Sox shirt in the concrete hoping to curse the Yankees? Take that, Hank Steinbrenner. Red Sox Nation is everywhere. Enjoy your new cursed stadium.
  • While I’m on the subject of the Yankees, New York struggled against the mighty Rays and the formidable Royals this week. Let’s see how they do against a real team.
  • I have a feeling Clay Buchholz will bring his A-game tonight. He seems to relish the big stage.

Enjoy the games this weekend.

Go Sox!

Fair or Foul Question of the week

Here is a little curveball for all of you foulliners out there. With the Major League Baseball G.M. meetings set to start November 5th, I’m giving you the chance to play general manager.

Who would you rather have on your team, Manny Ramirez or Alex Rodriguez?

Let’s look at how they match up.

One is a home-run hitting, enigmatic, sometime clubhouse cancer. The other is Manny Ramirez.

Manny has found ways to infuriate me every season. He doesn’t hustle on balls he hits to the infield. He plays the outfield like he’s on roller skates. He needs a chinstrap to keep his batting helmet on. He milks injuries. And he always seems to cause some offseason drama when he decides he would be happier playing somewhere else. But just when I think I am at my wits’ end with Man-Ram, he turns into a modern day Ted Williams and crushes the ball just when the Red Sox need him the most. Manny has proven to be a big-game hitter.

This brings us to Alex Rodriguez. This guy has all the talent in the world and may go down as one of the greatest ball players in Major League history. He can hit the long ball, fields his position well, and has proven to be a base stealing threat. He has won one MVP award and is expected to win another one this year after leading the majors with 54 home runs. But unlike Manny, A-Rod shrinks when he’s on baseball’s biggest stage. Through season after season of putting up great statistics, A-Rod has continued to disappoint when the playoffs start. Not to mention, Alex Rodriguez is a free agent and is expected to command $30 million per season.

So who would you rather have? A guy that will make you pull your hair out all season, then perform brilliantly when it matters? Or a guy that will carry a team all year, only to stink it up in the postseason?

You Decide: Man-Ram or A-Rod

Sox get offensive

I really like the look of the Boston Red Sox lineup right now. After 158 games of the season, is it possible that Boston has finally found the right combination to put out on the field?

Let’s look at the lineup from the last two nights. Dustin Pedroia has been leading off. Although not your prototypical lead-off batter, this guy has a great eye and consistently gets on base. Pedroia is batting .317 and has only struck out 42 times this season. Even though I could beat him in a foot race, I would leave him hitting first.

Which brings us to Manny in the 2 hole. Everyone has seen Manny’s power numbers drop off this season. So instead of forcing the issue and possibly straining his oblique again, let him continue his recent stretch as a singles hitter. These last two games he looks like he could hit line drives all day long.

Keeping Big Papi and Mike Lowell hitting 3rd and 4th is a no-brainer. These guys are each hitting .325 and have combined for 230 RBIs. J.D. Drew is batting 5th and has been hitting pretty well lately. I would flip-flop Jason Varitek and Kevin Youkilis. Youk is still hurting and has not been the same hitter since coming back from his wrist injury. Crisp and Ellsbury followed by Julio Lugo hitting 9th would round it up.

This lineup changes the look of the Red Sox just a little but has proven to be productive after getting 17 hits last night and putting up 7 and 11 runs the past two games. Let’s hope this continues over the final 4 games of the regular season and into the playoffs.

Oh, Manny

Barry Manilow photo by Alan Light Manny Ramirez photo by ac4lt
Oh, Manny. You came and you gave without taking, and I pushed you away. Oh, Manny.

O.K., I promise that will be the last Barry Manilow reference that you’ll ever see on this blog. You have to understand, my mom was a huge Manilow fan and would play the hell out of his 8-tracks. It’s burned in my brain. I’m not proud of it.

Anyhow, Manny was back in the lineup last night, and it was good to have him back. I’ve said a lot of negative things about Manny this season. I still think he quit on his team for 25 games. I still think that 2008 is his last year in Boston, and I still think he is a mental midget that looks like the Predator. With that being said, Manny does add a lot to the batting order. Just for his reputation alone, any young pitcher throwing to Man-Ram is going to be sweating bullets. And he looked pretty good last night. He hit a nice line drive in the first inning and drew a walk later in the game before being removed. Manny is always going to be Manny, but if he’s the Manny of the 2004 playoffs, I’ll deal with it.

Other notables from last night’s game: Schilling was solid again for 6 innings. J.D. Drew was 3 for 4 and drew a bases-loaded walk. Ellsbury added 2 more RBIs, and Papi added some insurance in the 8th inning. Also, even though he went 0 for 2 on the night, it was really good to see Youkilis back in the lineup.

How great was it to see the D’Rays battle back from a 5-0 deficit to beat the Yankees 7-6 in 10 innings? New York has played a lot of extra inning games lately. Let’s hope their tank is empty when the playoffs roll around.

The Yankees may be singing “Looks Like We Made It” now, but at this rate they’ll be watching the playoffs on TV.

Do they show MLB at the Copacabana?

Wanted: Team that needs lazy power hitting left fielder. Will throw in garbage relief man if needed.

Here is another great post by Dylan. I’m sure everyone will enjoy it.
Thanks for reading.

-Dave

The Manny thing is being somewhat beaten to death on this page. I agree with all that is said about it being time for Manny to pack his bags, but we’ve taken the issue as far as we can, and we must press on. I was ready to focus on other matters with the Sox, until I saw this quote: “It’s definitely tough,” said Youkilis. “Fortunately for me, it was at this time of year that it happened. I never like watching games. Baseball is not really that much fun to watch in my life. I never really loved to watch baseball. It’s more of a sport that I love to play. I don’t have that right now, but I’m ready to get back and play again. It’s definitely a lot harder doing it from the bench.” This a quote from Youk regarding, obviously, being injured and having to ride the bench.

Schilling’s sock, Crisp laying out night after night in center, Varitek doing his best Carl Lewis imitation around the bags after a home run, Pedroia going balls to the wall night after night. These are examples of guys that want to play the game, and play hard. I saw a profile about how Tom Brady took a pay cut to make financial room for the Patriots. That’s someone who wants to win. Would Manny do that? Does Manny even play hard?

There is no doubt that Manny is one the greatest right handed hitters to ever play the game. But he’s bringing down this team. I’m done with Manny and I’m done with pushing the get rid of Manny issue. I think Francona needs to take Dave’s advice and bench Manny, instead of Manny benching himself. I’ll take 9 Youk’s over 9 Manny’s anytime. It’s time we forget about Manny and focus on the future of this organization that, even being young, has managed to be the best team in baseball thus far. Goodbye Manny, hello future of the team………

it’s a small world

Sorry that this post is getting up so late, but I’m spending a few days at Disney World with my family and haven’t had the chance to hit the computer. I have noticed a lot of really good comments from readers. I’m going to give my evaluation on a few things that have come up in discussions over the last couple of days.

First of all, Eric Gagne sucks. I can’t believe that he has yet to pitch a decent inning. What makes it even worse is that Boston gave up two major-league-ready players in Kason Gabbard and David Murphy. Gabbard was awesome in his starts for the Red Sox this season. In a league where pitching is at a premium it seems they gave up on him too soon. I keep checking to see if Gabbard has some arm disease and his arm is going to fall off at any time, and the Sox just didn’t disclose it. But he keeps plugging away in Texas. Also David Murphy is a guy that I liked a lot in his limited time in the majors. He was fast and played really good defense. Murphy also worked his butt off in the offseason, putting on 15 pounds of muscle. This is a guy that wanted to play in the big leagues but was a victim of Boston already having too many outfielders in their system. The Texas Rangers killed Boston on this deal. I hope that Gabbard and Murphy play a big part of the Rangers turnaround in the future. They are both class acts that deserve nothing but the best.

Another hot topic is A-Rod. I believe that Boston will make a huge push for him. I see the Red Sox letting Lowell ($9 million) and Schilling ($13 million) hit the road, which frees up 22 million. That means Theo Epstein is going to need to increase payroll by about 10 million next year. I don’t see J.D. Drew going anywhere. Theo has wanted this guy for years, and he is going to be given every opportunity to succeed. This is not going to be one and done like the Renteria deal. Drew has too much talent to duplicate this season. (I hope) . I also think Julio Lugo is staying to play shortstop. If A-Rod comes to Boston it will be as a third baseman. Lugo has been pretty bad at the plate, but he had stolen a lot of bases and does have the tendency to pick up the big RBI. I still wish that Boston had re-signed Orlando Cabrera. They screwed up on that one. A-Rod is a different player now that he’s a 3rd baseman. He has a bigger build and is not as mobile as he was when he played shortstop. I honestly believe that Derek Jeter could be hit by a bus tomorrow and A-Rod would stay at third. How great would it be to sign the Yankees’ best player? It would be a sure way to kill George Steinbrenner.

Which brings me to Manny Ramirez. Please someone take this guy in the offseason. Mets? Angels? White Sox? Please help us out. This guy’s attitude is killing me. How can he sit on the bench at this point of the season? I know Manny is a flake but he has to know that Boston is in a playoff race. Also, his numbers this year are good, not great, by any stretch of the imagination. His potential numbers aren’t worth the aggravation that he’s putting Red Sox fans through. Either way, worst case scenario is Manny has one year left in Boston.

What has made Boston so enjoyable to watch this year is some of the young players that have been busting their asses all year. Guys like Youk, Pedroia, Coco, Lester, Papelbon, Ellsbury and Buchholz are the present and the future of Red Sox baseball. It has been a nice change of pace this season. Guys stealing bases, sacrificing guys into scoring position, playing great defense, showing their emotions. What makes it even better is that these guys are getting paid nothing in comparison to the bigger names. This group has great attitudes and plays great together. I hope guys like Ramirez don’t spoil it for them. These guys need to keep up their fantastic work ethic. It’s going to be fun to watch them for years to come.

Finally, I started this blog a few weeks ago. I have never done anything remotely close to this. I’m a Firefighter/Paramedic, not a writer, but this has been a lot of fun. I’ve had visits from all over the world: Italy; India; New Brunswick, Canada; Manchester, England; and Alabama. In keeping with the Disney theme, it really is a small world.

I have had some really great comments from readers and appreciate everyone taking the time to read the posts and to leave their thoughts. If anyone has any ideas or comments to make this blog better, please don’t hesitate to email me.

Also, thanks to Dylan for writing his post on Tuesday. He did a great job and started some interesting discussions. Let’s hope he writes for us again.

Thanks for reading. I hope to hear from you all soon.

Go Sox!