Thursday, July 31, 2008

I did not expect that.

Huh. Sox finally traded Manny Ramirez. Sox give Manny to the Dodgers, pay the last $7million of his contract and give Brandon Moss and Craig Hanson to the Pirates in exchange for Jason Bay. Dodgers also sent some prospects to the Pirates to complete the deal. I don't really care about the Dodgers or the Pirates (if you couldn't tell), so I'm just going to look at this from the perspective of a Sox fan. (Plus, it's a good opportunity to bone up on html for tables.)

Bay is pretty good at Pittsburgh, especially compared to the 2008 regular season Manny:


That compares pretty well. Big Question: can Jason Bay hit as well against AL East pitching as he has in the NL central? Doubtful.

Even so, there's no way Bay is anything but an upgrade in the field, adjustment to the Wall included.

On the other hand, Manny is unquestionably a clutch post-season hitter and one of the hardest working at the art now in the game.

On the other hand, Bay isn't going to be slugging your traveling secretary, or sulking in the dugout during the Yankees series, or demanding to be traded every other year.

Manny is going to hit well out there--probably put on a show, even though he'd be better off as a DH in the AL than an outfielder in the NL (though the pitching over there is worse).

How will Big Poppy react? We can provide good lineup protection for him with Youk, Drew, or even Mike Lowell. If Bay maintains his production, this looks like a pretty clear case of addition by subtraction. Plus, Bay is about a third as expensive as Manny, freeing up some cash (creatively) to go after what we really need: some middle relief.

On Manny's parting words: Yeah? That's straight from his script. See? It says right here: player with noted exceptionalist streak expresses self-importance in tones of a righteous lover, daring the abused spouse to walk. Tra-la, tra-la, we walked.

On the Manny Era: I never had a problem with the guy, really. He was a flake, and if you took him on those terms, all the stories about "Manny being Manny" were boring, bordering on tiresome. When he was happy, he was the best hitter in the game--he even became a decent left-fielder in Fenway. And he very clearly loved playing (when he was playing), which is always joyful to watch. But this was bound to happen. Ever since we got rid of Pedro, Manny's had a hair across 'is arse for management.

So long, Manny. Thanks for the rings, you came as advertised, but this is the right thing for all of us. Kisses.

And you, dear reader, may think this is corny, but it makes perfect sense and I can't get it out of my head. In the words of Green Day,

For what it's worth,
it was worth all the while.

It's something unpredictable
but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

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