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.

The Sounds of Silence

For some reason MLB.tv had legendary announcer Vin Scully call the Red Sox/Dodgers game yesterday. Wow! Listening to Vin Scully call the game made me want to move to Siberia and never listen to another game for as long as I live.

Scully is a huge name in the broadcasting world. He’s been calling Dodgers games for 57 years and has been inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame. But enough is enough. This guy needs to hang up his microphone and enjoy his golden years.

During yesterday’s broadcast, some of the poignant topics that Scully talked about included: a detailed lesson about every palm tree in Dodgertown; which flavor bubble gum Matt Kemp was chewing; the reason that Mike Lowell doesn’t chew gum at the plate; and a history lesson about the field the Dodgers play on. He even managed to call a few balls and strikes. And this was just in the first inning.

This guy is the reason that television and radio broadcasts added a color commentator. If you ever have the opportunity to listen to Scully in action, don’t do it. Find a WNBA game and watch that instead. You’ll thank me.

Thefoulline.com’s tantalizing tidbits and predictions for the week.

  • If Josh Beckett’s back injury is even remotely serious, the Red Sox are screwed.
  • If Julio Lugo’s back injury prohibits him from playing ever again… oh well.
  • The Grapefruit League’s worst record belongs to the Boston Red Sox. The best record belongs to the Tampa Bay Rays.
  • The Sox treat Spring Training as a way to evaluate their young prospects. The Rays treat Spring Training as their World Series.
  • I think Coco Crisp is going to have a good season for the Oakland A’s.
  • If Bartolo Colon’s ERA matches his weight this year, he will go down as Theo Epstein’s best transaction… ever.
  • The 2008 MLB All-Star game will be held at Yankee Stadium. Manny Delcarmen will be on the American League team. Derek Jeter will not.
  • Thefoulline.com fantasy baseball draft starts in 17 days. Spots are still available, and competition is fierce for 2nd place.