Manny Ramirez may is probably the most lovable quirky player in the league, but at a certain point his nonsense turns from amusing to pure frustration. A few days ago Ramirez had a classic Manny being Manny moment out in left field. He took a weird path to the ball and missed it by a bunch. Then as he went back to get the ball he stumbled over the ball and layed on it for a second before picking it up and throwing it in as another run scored. Video Here.
Now if your not a Red Sox fan, I can see how his long list of antics could be hilarious. I can also see how it must be great seing someone having this unserious kind of fun in a professional sports world. But as a fan of the Sox, this kind of stuff is getting a bit frustrating. And with all of this nonsense adding up, I have to wonder how much longer Theo and the rest of the organization will be willing to value his offensive capabilities over the extra baggage that comes with it. According to a recent SI article, The Red Sox will be looking to pursue Matt Holliday should the Rockies hold on to him untill the end of the season. Manny is in the last year of his guarenteed contract, with $20 million options for both 2009 and 2010.
Although Holliday would not be the new face of the franchise, he would at least represent a major defensive upgrade, not to mention the fact that he is at a prime in his offensive production. Holliday is a career .321 hitter with 120 HR and 453 RBI in 643 career games begining in 2004. Ramirez is still one of the best pure hitters in the game, but at 36 years old, can we expect any improvement out of him? Probably not. A 3-4 combo of Ortiz and Holliday is pretty much just as scary as Holliday will improve over the next few years as he is only 28 years old. Of course, all of this is assuming Holliday is even available at the end of the 2008 season. As we all know Holliday is drawing major interest from teams looking to improve before the deadline.
Regardless of where Holliday is at the end of the season the Red Sox will still have to decide what to do with Ramirez. He is a sure .285+, 25HR+, 100RBI+ player. The question is, is it worth it to pay out $20 million over the next year or two for a man who continues to be on and off with the organization. With Ortiz at DH, Manny would continue to be a liability in the outfield. IF the Sox want to unload Manny, and IF Holliday is out of the question, their best bet is to hang him out in front of some teams looking for a top of the line DH in hopes of getting his equivalent in the shape of an outfielder and/or prospects.
Bottom line, Manny Ramirez is the Clown King of the Red Sox, and is still a player many fans would have a tough time parting with. However with the interest of winning in hand, Manny could end up making his phone calls from another scoreboard in the 2009 Season.