Friday, August 1, 2008

End of an Era

Manny is gone, if you haven't heard by now. And I think it makes total sense. I think Jason Bay will flourish in a still formidable line up. I wish the Sox could have obtained some more pitching but c'est la vie. I know some will argue that Manny's bat cannot be replaced, and that the Red Sox were bagging it when they decided to trade him, but that is only true if Manny were to actually give you 100% effort. Imagine if the Sox and Yanks were playing a critical series in September and Manny got caught in a run down, or muffed a fly ball, or ignored a stop sign from the third base coach, or punched the food service guy, or yanked on Youk's beard, etc. etc.

Jason Bay, on the other hand, will be thrilled to be playing in some meaningful games. I understand that he has no experience in such situations. We don't know how he will perform under the pressure. However, one thing is for certain, he will relish the chance to play for a pennant and will do whatever he can to win the respect of his teammates. I think the Manny distraction was a factor in the Sox poor performance. When things are going poorly, you have to shake things up.

The thing that has annoyed me the most in the Manny saga (and the Brett Favre saga) is the hypocrisy of the sports media. In years past when Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, Milton Bradley and other clubhouse cancer types resorted to childish antics to get what they wanted, the media killed them. No matter how well they performed on the field, they weren't worth the headaches, we were told. We have a similar situation with Manny, and the Red Sox felt that whatever production he might have is not worth the constant distraction. Now everyone in the media says that you can't get rid of "The Greatest Right Handed Hitter in Baseball" and that doing so will doom the season. Which way is it? The bottom line is that Boston, New York, and Tampa Bay are in the midst of the most heated and interesting divisional races in recent history, and all Manuel can think of is himself. He was clearly tanking it. I guess two rings are enough for him. In the balance the Red Sox did the right thing.

1 comment:

Dennis said...

If this were 2004, this trade would be an absolute disaster. In 2004, Manny had 43 HR's and 130 RBI. In 2005, he had 45 HR's and 144 RBI. Fortunately, it is 2008, and Manny will be lucky to get 25 HR's and 90 RBI. Is he still a great hitter, I don't know. He strikes out a lot more, hits for less power and a lower average, but still gets on base at about the same clip. When he was raking in years past, the lack of hustle and the terrible fielding were cancelled out, because he generated more runs than he gave up. Basically, he had to go.