They’re either awfully reactionary down in Queens or they know something we don’t.
One day after Red Sox slugger and would-be MVP David Ortiz told the Associated Press that he believes this offseason will be Manny Ramirez’s au revoir from Boston, The New York Daily News’ Adam Rubin reports that a graphic designer employed by the New York Mets has already whipped up an ad touting the slugger’s arrival.
"Manny's on board: Mets on the rise,” it reads.
Your choice really as to which is worse, the timing or the campaign itself. Mets on the rise? Really? Did they freelance this project out to Stella Marias High? You theoretically land one of the greatest righthanded power hitters of all time, and all you can come up with is, “Mets on the Rise?” I guess at the very least this guy’s still got a future with the ad agency that came up with the “…it’s called Bruins” disaster.
Mets officials confirmed to the Daily News that the promo was authentic, but still attempted to distance themselves from its existence. Red Sox PR guru Glenn Geffner had no comment, naturally.
So, here we go again. Just hours after the Red Sox pulled off their most significant trade in eight years, and just hours before it is finalized, pending physical assurances on Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell, the Boston fan base has to once again wonder what exactly it all means for Ramirez, the sometimes adored, sometimes reviled All-Star on the books for $58 million. The Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman writes today that in addition to listing Anaheim as a destination for his trade demands, Ramirez also would like to go to Seattle, most likely to be reunited with skipper Mike Hargrove, who managed Manny in Cleveland, Ramirez’s happy days.
Before you start mixing in dreams of Ichiro, who has expressed displeasure with Seattle this offseason, with the imminent ones of sugarplums, neither appears to be a likely destination, really. Only Omar Minaya appears eager enough to yield a satisfactory package for Ramirez, and even then, not one worth relinquishing such a powerhouse threat. And even the chance of the Mets taking him on appears to be dwindling faster than the sense of decency among these yahoos already waiting in Wal-Mart lines for Friday.
Reportedly on the verge of landing Carlos Delgado from the packing it in so we can pack our bags Florida Marlins (New Jersey?), the Mets might not have the financial resources to take on Manny as well, no matter how much Minaya covets him. Delgado spurned the Mets for a lesser offer from Florida last year, and the whole “God Bless America” protest might not play all that particularly well in New York, so there's a chance the Mets could turn Delgado and Lastings Milledge to Boston for Ramirez, even though there is no guarantee that Ramirez would accept a deal to the Mets, his right as a 10-5 (10 years in the league, five with the same club) man in Major League Baseball.
Ortiz yesterday reiterated Ramirez’s desire to play for a left coast team, adding, “Manny is living through a difficult situation (in Boston) that only he and his family know and he no longer wants to play there." Whatever that means probably shouldn’t be open to speculation. Knowing Ramirez it could be something as idiotic as the variety of plants outside the Ritz. Or it could be something legitimately serious that none of us know about. The risk of that being the case means it’s in nobody’s right to assume as much.
But what do you do? Ideally, the Red Sox would honor his trade demand, but to where? For whom? What kind of equal value can you get from a team you’re dumping $58 million on? Ervin Santana? The Angels have all but laughed at the proposition. Texas, maybe, but you’d have to imagine the Red Sox want more than Adrian Gonzalez, and the Rangers don’t exactly have a lot of attractive arms.
In the end, maybe you just sit back and wait for Manny to either show up or not in Fort Myers. Heck, he might have even forgotten he made that threat not to arrive at spring training by that point. If he doesn’t arrive, you don’t have to pay him. Worst-case scenario, he finally gives in and decides to play for the Red Sox at some point in the season, expressing a burning desire to bring another World Series title to Boston.
Gee, where have we heard that before?