Thursday, July 31, 2008

I'm Starting To Believe That Manny's Just Not All That Bright

No matter what happens with Manny Ramirez over the next half-hour and whether he's traded wherever or stays in Boston, he's in for a rude awakening at the end of this season if he thinks his tantrums are going to help his cause in seeking a long-term contract. I've been
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on the side of "Manny being Manny" as more of a canned persona than an actual implication of a lack of intelligence on the part of Manny Ramirez, but now I've been swayed to believe that Manny just isn't that bright; that he truly doesn't understand that he's costing himself money with these petulant sit-in strikes by claiming to be injured.
If he were 28, then he'd likely still find a team willing to dole out the cash and years no matter how boorishly he behaved; but he's not 28; he's about to turn 37 and his numbers are going to decline in a different ballpark with a different team and different lineup. In case anyone hadn't noticed, the days of players maintaining or increasing their production as they reach their late-30s are over and Manny's no exception to that reality.
There have been times when I've said that Manny's just a space cadet who doesn't realize the ramifications of asking to be traded (those ramifications being that the Red Sox might actually take him seriously and send him somewhere else); there have also been times that I've asserted that Manny's a bit more savvy than people give him credit for and that these incidents are part of a master plan to take financial advantage of his image as a hitting savant and life simpleton; but I'm convinced now that Manny just isn't that bright and that he may or may not get his latest wish to be sent away from Boston, but doesn't realize that his objective of getting another $100 million contract has quite likely been damaged beyond all repair; that if he'd behaved himself and had an MVP-quality final three months with the Red Sox, some
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team would be sufficiently convinced that he's worth that $100 million; but now that's gone. Someone will sign him whether he plays his last three months with the Red Sox or someone else, but he's hurt his case for another big contract with his on-field self immolation of "sticking it" to the Red Sox by not hustling and begging out of games with questionable injuries. He stuck it to the Red Sox, but didn't realize that the weapon was dual edged and while sticking it to the Red Sox, he also inadvertently stuck it to Manny Ramirez as well.

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