Quick bits and comments from my mind

manny_350_020309.jpg? The Manny Ramirez situation is one of the most fascinating offseason dramas in years, the latest development being that Ramirez rejected a one-year, $25 million deal from the Dodgers.

One wonders how much money it would take to get Ramirez to sign a one-year deal. I am reminded of a $50 million offer to the Beatles to reunite for a single concert in the mid-1970s. Even John Lennon was up for it at that price. A long-term contract can bring a player security, but if you make enough money in a single season, that IS security. Such an arrangement might be best for Ramirez and for the teams, as he can continue to demand a higher premium for playing a year at a time, while his teams will have some assurance that he will actually come to work.

? The Orlando Hudson in center field idea resurfaced yesterday both in the comments and (by implication) from this interview on the MLB network with Hudson himself, and in this bit from Ken Rosenthal, who says, “[N]either the Mets nor Yankees currently has an opening at second base, but [Hudson] seems to be banking on one of those clubs pursuing a creative solution.” Swell. Let’s hope the Yankees don’t do anything unconventional. First, it’s always novel when you have a center fielder play center field, as opposed to a second baseman, a dancing bear, or a giant eggplant. Actually, if they go with the dancing bear, put me down for season tickets. Second point, one I’ve raised before: Hudson is a career .277/.336/.411 hitter on the road. This is a break-even performance at either second base or center field, but at least if Hudson is at the keystone a team has the benefit of his good defense. In center field you might get good defense or you might not, but my guess, based on a lifetime of seeing this midcareer moves largely blow up (call it the Juan Samuel Observation) would be “no.” Thus: average bat at best, defense questionable… Melky or Gardner is a better bet, and cheaper, too.

?   Those that suggested moving Robinson Cano to center field: I again invoke the Juan Samuel Observation. I then also note that Samuel was really fast and Cano is slow enough that around the time he hits 30 I expect us to be discussing how he’s now too sluggish to play second.

? Melky Cabrera’s late and close numbers don’t impress me at all. That he hits a powerless .296 in tight games is nice, but it doesn’t make up for the fact that he’s not been very useful in the other 85 percent of his career plate appearances. Jim Edmonds has a lower batting average in such situations, but has also hit 33 career home runs. Which do you suppose led to more victories? Melky’s odd single or Edmonds’ odd homer? Also, re projections: if a projection system says that Melky is going to reach base 33 percent of the time, and Edmonds is going to reach base 33 percent of the time, but that the former will slug .380 and the latter .420, there isn’t much of an argument as to who that system thinks will be more productive. Now, other Edmonds critics have pointed out his declining range, and I buy that. However, that’s why you keep Gardner or Cabrera on the roster, to caddy for the guy. The only problem with the Edmonds plan is that he also needs a platoon partner, and the Yankees don’t have one on hand.

? Of all the commercials on the Super Bowl, the one that has really stayed with me was one of the first. It basically said, “If you’ve been shafted by the economy, try selling cosmetics.” It frightened me in that I could hear ghosts of 1932 saying, “If you’ve been shafted by the economy, try selling apples.” Brrr. 


The Manny saga is becoming most entertaining. Will he sign? Will it be with the Mets? Or the Dodgers? Or the Giants? Will he fire Boras for not getting him the money he wants? I have no ideas how this will end. I hope for Manny’s sake that he doesn’t find himself on the outside looking in come spring training. The commercial you mentioned – it does send chills.


Re: A one year contract for Manny

The proposal that Charlie Finley made in the ’70s to make every player in MLB a free agent every single year made financial sense back then and even more financial sense now.

They still need to clean up CF, the bench and C if Po can’t go.

With the Mets resigning Oliver Perez, odds that Manny will head that way have slimmed. The guy is starting to run out of places that want him. But I’m with Julia, hopefully he’ll find a home with spring training right around the corner.

Okay, I’ve been quiet this offseason, but I feel at this point I have to launch into what has become my yearly rant… the bench sucks and the outfield looks to be the weakest in the league!! Seriously, Steven, I have tremendous respect for you. You have often chided others for saying that an offense can carry a weak bat, yet you seem comfortable with Melky or Gardner actually getting playing time. I’m not happy with either one and don’t ant them near the batter’s box unless they’ve obtained a position with the grounds crew. Neither projects to give you decent production. Maybe Edmunds isn’t the answer, but there has to be better options out there. Heck, sign Dunn, and go with a Dunn-Swisher-Damon outfield with Nady on the bench. The offense would be much better, although the defense would not be good. The Yanks have done an absolutely terrible job with their bench the last few years, and unfortunately this year doesn’t seem much different. Their best backup infielder is who? Cody Ransom? Yeach. And Nady is servicable in backup I guess, but when you have as weak a hitting outfield as they’ve got, it’s just 4 different shades of medium brown.

I like the Edmonds idea until the rookie Austin Jackson is ready. He is not listed as a Type A or B so it is doable. But Cash said no more spending!!!!!!!!!!! It is not that the Yankees can’t carry Gardner or Cabrera’s bat for a year if all goes well with the other bats. But there are questions in my mind on some of them.

As for Manny, wow passed on 25 mil. Sure wish my boss would offer me 25 mil for one year:-)

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