Saturday, July 26, 2008

Speculation, bunk, hooey, tomfoolery and shenanigans: just another Shaughnessy offering

What in God's name would Dan Shaughnessy (and every Boston sports writer) do without Manny Ramirez? Cry? Cower under their desks? Actually write thoughtful pieces? The horror!

Curly Headed Boyfriend now apparently knows - for an iron-clad fact - that Ramirez is done with the Red Sox. This is not an opinion. This appears in the sports section. Of a newspaper.


Pretty brash title. I hope he can back it up with multiple quotes, sources and preferably the man (or his agent) himself.

***Spoiler alert***

He can't.

The Red Sox have had it with Manny Ramírez.

Manny has punched his ticket out of town. It's over. O-VA. Adios, amigo. Good night, Irene. Turn out the lights. Last night's 1-0 loss to the Yankees (think they could have used Manny?) was the proverbial last worthless evening.

Take your worthless .301/.402/.530 with 19 homers (one shy of last year's total, when everything was cool because they won the World Series) and 62 RBI. I don't want 'em!

Ramírez sealed his fate with the club yesterday afternoon. After longtime enabler Terry Francona filled out a lineup card with Manny batting fourth, the Sox made an announcement that Manny could not play in the biggest game of the season.

A July game against the Yankees. Who are in third.

Former state treasurer Bob Crane happened by the EMC Club, pregame, and spoke for many fans when he said, "Manny's got to go. Enough's enough. Fans are finally sick of this guy."

You know who is sick of this guy? Morons. Morons are. The WEEI crowd. Ye olde timey media.

Most fans still love him, goofiness and all. It doesn't bother me at all that he took off a meaningless game against Seattle (and the frightening Felix Hernandez). Yeah losing 1-0 without him sucked, but who the hell am I to question a 36-year-old's injured knee?

I'll take his .932 OPS, 36.9 VORP (best on the team and top 15 in MLB) if it means he takes some games off and is kind of a weirdo.

Call me a cynic. Call me a nitwit.

Done and done.

Whatever. I'm comfortable with the theory that Manny is using his alleged knee injury to send a message to the ball club. We don't know why. We never know why. Manny shut it down in 2006 and he's toying with the Red Sox again. In the middle of a pennant race. It is despicable. And the front office and his teammates are burning. Off the record, of course.

Off the record, of course, so I have no way of proving any of this. By the way, aliens exist, 9-11 was an inside job and Bigfoot is in my living room.

Ramírez had an MRI yesterday and it was clean. This time, the Sox plan to do something about this situation. Soon.

According to whom, exactly? And the MRI was after the game, not before. Might wanna include that.

Ramírez was in the throes of an 11-game hitting streak (.487, 11 for 39) when he showed up at Safeco Field in Seattle Wednesday and told Francona he could not play and could not pinch hit. It was odd.

Felix Hernandez? The alignment of the planets? His fortune telling dog told him to? A routine day off is my guess though.

Something's got to give. The owners are mad. The manager is frustrated. The GM is frustrated. Teammates are angry.

This is all baseless editorializing. Where are the quotes from Lowell saying, "I just don't like the way he carries himself." Or Youkilis saying, "He punched me, that guy is a dick."

Even with sycophants who excuse everything, Manny may have finally exhausted his reservoir of goodwill. He quit on the team in 2006 and now it looks like he's quitting again. Is that OK with you, Red Sox Nation?

"Quitting" in 2006: .321/35/102 with a 1.058 OPS.

Seems to be trying to me.

Manny's snit comes after he flattened 64-year-old traveling secretary Jack McCormick over a ticket allotment in Houston.

Killed him, actually. In fact they needed dental records to I.D. the poor old man.

It comes after he ripped ownership for allegedly lying to him in contract negotiations.

Seems OK to get mad about something concerning your upcoming $20 million dollars.

It comes after he was rebuked by Henry. It comes after his giggle-fest when he played a popup into a triple while the Sox were being swept in Anaheim.

Ramirez took a bad route on a ball? NO. WAY. Outfielders make shitty plays every once and while. Deal with it.

This might be a poor read of the tea leaves by Manny. He is not as valuable as he was. For $20 million (club option for 2009 and again in 2010) the ball club can expect to do better than .301 with 19 homers and 61 RBIs after 104 games.

And that top 15 VORP. That's pretty good. Ahead of guys like Braun, Wright and Uggla.

And that shitty .301/19/61 after 104 games? He'd still end with like ~.300/30/100. Which is pretty damn good, even for lame stats like those.

Stat geeks, take note: Manny's OPS is down the last two years. By a lot.

Don't tempt the "stat geeks" CHB. I don't know where you're looking, but here's his OPS from '06-'08: 1.058, .881, .932

So way up, down, and back up again.

His career OPS is .999, which is awesome. He'll be below that, but not by that much. And he's 36. If he can OPS in .900s into 38 - which I think he can - that's pretty valuable. There are currently 14 OFers in MLB (six in the AL) with an OPS above .900.

Sox management is at the end of its long rope. This has been an interesting and rewarding eight years, but Manny is acting out in a decidedly unflattering fashion. Red Sox owners have had enough. There will be meetings with the slugger in the next few days. Something has to happen.

The Yankees beat the Red Sox, 1-0, last night to close within one game of Boston in the loss column. It was supposed to be the magical night of the return of David Ortiz. Instead, it was another ridiculous night in Mannyland.

Stay tuned. The manager and the owners have had enough.

They've had it. Enough. Enough of it, they've had. Had it? Yup, enough, thanks.

This is all from CHB's brain, nothingmore. Other than a few "no comment" quotes. But CHB can intuit what Sox brass is thinking, feeling. This ability gives him the power to write fact-free columns that are essentially opinons and get away with it.

For all our sake let's hope Manny sticks around, just to piss off Shaughnessy.

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