There are lots of rumors about Manny Ramirez signing with Toronto soon. And, of course, lots of debate about whether it would be a good thing. John Lott on twitter seems especially upset about the idea. Course he also seems to think that Yunel Escobar is a lousy SS.
Personally, I kind of like the idea of going after Manny, as long as we aren't paying too much. For one thing, it would be a signal that we are trying to win. The last couple of off-seasons the team made it clear we weren't trying to compete, which, I think, is a terrible message to send to the fans. You tell them you aren't planning to compete and then later complain when the fans don't some out. Signing Manny would be a clear signal that we could be in the race this year. It can't hurt to build some interest.
I think this year is likely a long shot but add a DH and a 3B, a year of growth for a young pitching staff and better seasons from Hill and Lind, we could have some fun. The Rays might drop back some. The Yankees and the Red Sox are each getting older, I can't see any downside to putting together the best group of players we can, as long as we aren't mortgaging the future too much.
What are Lott's complaints?
- He'd rather see the money go to signing draft choices. This is a total non-starter to me. We spent a small fortune on signing bonuses last year and we have a fair bit of player salary money coming off the books this year. Rogers seems committed to spending what is needed to sign draft picks. I'm sure the money paid to Manny wouldn't come out of the draft budget. I'm sure Lott doesn't believe that either.
- Manny has bad habits and is selfish. I don't know the guy, I can't say anything about him being selfish, perhaps he is, that's one of those things I don't care about as long as he player is getting the results on the field. Bad habits? Manny has always been said to be s great student of art of hitting. He apparently works very hard at his hitting, sort of like Johnny Mac works hard on his fielding. I imagine that that would be a good example for the rest of the team.
- That signing Manny doesn't fit with Anthopoulos' 'long-term plan'. That one I don't understand either. If signing manny doesn't fit the plan then neither did the signing of John Buck last year. Since there isn't a young player that Manny would be blocking from getting playing time, I think he fits right in with the plan. Build depth in the minors and not rush anyone into the majors. Signing Manny doesn't effect our minor league depth at all.
- 'Remember Frank Thomas'. Another argument that really has nothing to do with signing Manny this year. No one is suggesting we sign Manny for 3 years at $10 million per. It doesn't look like we are competing with a bunch of other teams to get Manny. A reasonable one-year contract or one plus a team option wouldn't be too bad.
One that Lott didn't mention is the idea that he is a 'cancer' in the clubhouse. I don't know, he's been to the postseason 11 times. If he is a cancer, it sure isn't hurting his teams. Or if it is, they hide it well.
And, of course, everyone's favorite insult, he is lazy. Well, he's lazied himself to 2573 hits and 555 home runs. That's my type of lazy. Everything I've read says he works as hard on his hitting as anyone does. I know, lazy is the catch all for talking about a player you don't like, don't know much about, but can't point to anything else to complain about. Maybe he is, I don't know. If he gets on base 40% of the time, he can be as lazy as he wants.
Yeah, Manny had an off year last year, but then his batting line was .298/.409/.460 not that bad for an off year. No one on our roster had a .400 OBP. I think it would be a good to have a veteran show the young guys that taking a walk isn't a bad thing. We have a lot of 'see pitch, hit pitch' type batters, someone to show them that working the count isn't against the rules would be
He missed time last year with hamstring and calf injuries and had an operation for a sports hernia after the season. you have to figure that since he wouldn't be expected to play the outfield for us, he shouldn't have as much trouble. If he does, well let's not invest too much into him.
Me, I'd like the team to sign him. We seem to be slowing building some excitement around the team. This should only add to it. And I know it would give us give us stuff to talk about. Selfishly,I hate dull moments, he should give us things to talk about.