October 11, 2005

Pedro's Evil Plan

Gerry Callahan (Herald) says Pedro Martinez is hellbent on causing
the complete and utter demise of the Red Sox organization [and] the next phase of his diabolical plan [is] Making Manny a Met. ...

If Manny wanted to go back to Cleveland or down to Miami, that would be one thing. But we're talking about a perennial .500 team in Queens.

Someone must have convinced him that he would he happy in Metland, and that someone must have been a person Manny respects. It would help if that someone were smart and persuasive, perhaps even bilingual. And I'm guessing it's someone who not only would like to add a big bat to the Mets lineup, but also would love to mess with the Red Sox.

Call me rash, but I'm going to rule out Doug Mientkiewicz and Brian Daubach. ...

While his new club finished seven games out in the NL East, Pedro insisted he was happy in New York ... He even went so far as to hand out business cards with his cell phone number to the Mets beat writers at the end of the season.

"Call me when we get Manny," he told the scribes.
In his Monday column, Steve Buckley (Herald) wrote:
Talk to pretty much anyone connected with the Red Sox, and you'll be told that Epstein was on the cusp of trading superstar Manny Ramirez at the trading deadline in July, only to have Lucchino step in and crow that the Sox weren't getting enough in return.
So Theo is open to trading Manny and Ramirez apparently wouldn't mind leaving (though the seriousness of his requests, however many of them have been made (and to whom), has been in some doubt), and though Manny has only three seasons left on his contract, it seems as though the front office will once again entertain offers for the team's best (or second best?) hitter over the winter.

Boston obviously will not be able to replace Ramirez's production at the plate -- no matter who they get in return. The question is: Could they get several other solid players or some excellent pitchers in exchange? It seems unlikely.

Trading Manny for players of less value is stupid. And paying part of his salary so he can beat up on pitchers in another uniform is equally dumb. If the front office gets bowled over by an offer, then I suppose they will (should) take it. But I can't see any team capable of paying Manny's salary presenting the Red Sox with a huge package of talent for a player who allegedly wants out of his current situation and someone the Sox are at least semi-eager to get rid of. Boston is not in a favorable position.

In 2005, Ramirez was 4th in the American League in slugging, 4th in OPS, 4th in Adjusted OPS, 3rd in HR, 2nd in RBI, and 5th in Runs Created. And this was in a season he supposedly was slumping. ... When I look at the MVP numbers for David Ortiz and A-Dog, I should also include Manny.

And Ramirez led all major leaguer outfielders with 17 assists. Mediots say that's because so many runners test Manny's arm. Well, they run all day long on Damon's noodle, and he finished with only five assists. Damon also made six errors, one fewer than Manny.

(I present the Pedro story more for entertainment than news. I question how much power one player could have over a GM.)


Jimmy J said...

I doubt that the mets will get Manny

Edward Lee said...

Manny's fielding capabilities have been pretty clear to most Sox fans over the last few years -- his zone rating and range factor are atrocious because he's slow and misreads balls. But he's mastered the art of fielding a bounce off the Green Monster, and he throws quickly, strongly and accurately.

Anonymous said...

Man, sports writers and their ilk are such tools. They hear these "rumors" and immediately have to make a big story out of them without bothering to check validity.

Theo and the Sox brass aren't that stupid; I don't see them getting rid of Manny unless they are truly blown away by an offer, which probably isn't going to happen. Where are this guy's sources? Wasn't Theo the one who said at the end of the deadline that the team was far better off with Manny than without?

Is Pedro really THAT bitter about Boston and the Sox?

DanM said...

Now that right there is funny ..

Anonymous said...

To Edward Lee - You're right on the money about Manny's defensive talents and deficiencies. With that quick release and accurate throwing ability, can you imagine how effective he'd be in the field if he'd only move his ass?

Jack said...

Is it just me, or wasn't the story previously that it was LL who wanted Manny gone? Now it's Theo wanting to get rid of Manny and LL wanting to keep him? Something doesn't sound right here, beyond the idiocy of trading one of the best pure hitters to ever play the game.

Anonymous said...

I don't advocate trading Manny, but remember that trading him for NOTHING still gives the Sox 20 million a year for a few years in exchange. You can buy a lot of talent with 20 million, and that fact has to be factored into what constitutes a "fair trade." Would you take Roy Halladay or Santana for Manny, even up? With the salary discrepency, you'd have to consider it. As I see it, the Sox can upgrade their offense at a whopping three positions (first, second and right) and maybe four, at third. Could that offset the loss of Manny if he were replaced by, say, Matsui? Sure.

Theo's thinking is that he wants to trade Manny before he suddenly comes in with a Sammy Sosa year and can't be traded. It's a rational way to think. Still, I'll be shocked if it happens.

On fielding: Manny has a really accurate arm that is more than strong enough for a Fenway left-fielder (does anyone have the Home-Away split on his assists?). It doesn't make up for his lack of speed...there were a lot of hits that fell in and a lot ogappers that weren't caught that an outfielder with even average speed would have put away, and I'm sure it cost more games than his arm saved.

Finally, I hope Pedro enjoys laboring for a mediocre team until his shoulder gives out. He has no reason to be anything but grateful to the Red Sox and their fans, and simply diminishes himself, eveil plan or not, with his claims of mistreatment here.

audidriver4life said...

I find it funny how people say Manny is suffering on the Mets. Up until last year, the Red Sox were one of baseball's biggist failures and choke artists.

I personally dont want Manny because Shea Stadim is not HR friendly and Manny won't have the green monster to help him out.

Anonymous said...

This is a story that some people are going to get sick of hearing about, but personally I don't think its importance can be overstated. Manny Ramirez causes some problems, but as an offensive producer he is irreplaceable. Over his career he has averaged more than 135 RBI per 162 games, and since 1998 he has averaged almost 150 RBI per 162 games. If he really wanted to play another 7 or 8 years, he could challenge the all-time RBI mark-seriously. If you trade him you not only take away his 140 plus ribbies, but with his threat removed how many do you take away from Ortiz? And of course trading Manny might make Big Papi an unhappy camper, along with a good chunk of the Nation itself. It would be an incredibly risky move, one that could bring long-term grief to the franchise.

Anonymous said...

Two erroneous (I'm being nice here) comments that must be countered. 1) It is assinine to say the Sox were "one of baseball's biggest failures. The team has been the most consistent winner in baseball since '67...38 years. It played baseball's best World Series ('75), won its closest pennant race ('67), and played in two of the top 5 games ever played (the '78 play-off and the 6th game in '75). It was the most exciting team in the game year in, year out, and that was before '04.

Audidriver4life has bad taste in cars AND teams.

2) Manny's offense would be hard to replace (if Manny can still play in 7 years, Bob, I'll eat my dog), but the effect on Ortiz' stats would be minimal. All that "protection" garbage has been emphatically disproven over and over again...it makes no sense, and even the smarter hitters don't buy it. Read Dwight Evans on the subject, who said, "Pitchers try to get batters out. Period." Ted Williams didn't believe it...QUIZ: Who batted behind him in 1941 amd 1957, his two best average years? And who was the immortal who hit behind Ted in '46, when he won the Triple Crown? That great Hall of Famer, Rudy York. Who hit behind Yaz in his Triple Crown year the last two months when he was winning game after game? Ken Harrelson, who was having a miserable year.
Why do you guys believe this nonsense? It is just old conventional wisdom morons like Sutcliffe and Berman repeat over and over until people think it's true. Read STATS on the topic. Read Bill James. IT JUST ISN'T TRUE!

Anonymous said...

Jack, I agree it's unlikely Manny will play 7 more years, I just think it's worth noting where the guy stands in terms of the all-time leaders. As for the protection issue, I agree that I was quoting 'conventional wisdom' and it's quite possible that it's a fallacy. As for Sutcliffe and Berman being 'morons'...well I won't argue with Berman but Sutcliffe was a pitcher who won 171 major league games. Don't you think a pitcher with those credentials might know something about this? Hey, it's a debatable issue and I'm not saying you're wrong. But I don't think it's as open and shut as you say.

From the Vined Smithy said...

I don't know, Jack. I DO believe that if you don't have someone fairly threatening behind him, Ortiz certainly would walk a lot more and get the bat taken out of his hand. What about Barry Bonds? Not that I want to equate their situations or abilities; I'm just saying outstanding hitters get walked in certain situations.

Anonymous said...

Bob: Hall of Famer Rube Wadell won a lot more games than Sutcliffe and really WAS a moron. Can't say Sutcliffe's credentials on the mound give him any credibility in my book, especially when he repeats demonstrably erroneous "facts" like saying Fenway is one of the best hitting parks in baseball when it has been in the middle of the pack for about 20 years. I've suffered through dozens of his games, and I can honestly say that I've never heard him say one substantive thing that wasn't a cliche, wrong, smarmy, or obvious. And when he says things like "It's really important that Papelbon get this third out on a strikeout to spark the Sox offense next inning" he loses all respect from me. That's the kind of thing Rube Waddell would believe!

Re Ortiz'z walks: 1) You have to admit Bonds is a special case, and even then, he is walked so much that it helps his team 2) Think about when you'd walk Ortiz. Leading off? Great: he'll score about 65% of the time. With a man on first? Almost never. With the bases loaded? I doubt it. With two outs and nobody on? Very unlikely. So he picks up a few more walks...maybe...when first base is open and runners are on. That's not going to hurt his stats a lot. And you're assuming who, Alex Cora batting behind him? One way or the other, IF it wouldn't be Manny, it would be another slugger, though a lesser one. No, it just wouldn't make much difference to Ortiz.

Anonymous said...

Sutcliffe is one of the most consistently wrong and moronic announcers in the sport. Seriously. He's generally even stupider than McCarver, who though annoying occasionally predicts things correctly. If Sutcliffe told me it was raining outside, I open a window to make sure.

As for the 'protection' thing, it would matter at all in a terrifyingly small number of AB's. Then consider this; the most important stat for an offense is OBP. If David Ortiz gets on base at around a .400 clip regularly, and then in key situations does so at a 1.000 clip because teams keep walking him, that's really not a bad thing. If he were on an absolutely terrible team - like if it were 8 versions of me and David Ortiz - this wouldn't matter because we wouldn't win any games anyway. On a team that can actually win some games, you're going to have a guy that can hit at least reasonably well behind Millar. I remind everyone of Game 5, 1999: Nomar Garciaparra, the only guy on that team that could actually hit, is walked twice intentionally. Each time, Troy O'Leary hits a homer to drive him in. Will Ortiz's numbers go down? Maybe, a little. Will it hurt the team? Probably not. Not saying trading Manny is a good idea, just that it's not a bad idea because of protection.

Anonymous said...

I somehow wrote Millar when I meant Ortiz above. I honestly have concept of how this happened; just ignore.

Anonymous said...

This is my final entry on the 'protection' issue. I came across this is an article by Skip Bayless on the ESPN2 website yesterday. Thought the timing was pretty humorous.

"(One of the main reasons the Sox won last year was)...they had Ramirez batting cleanup behind David Ortiz. Yes, Ortiz has become baseball's most talked-about clutch hitter-while Manny remains the most chuckled-at goof. But would most pitchers rather pitch to Ortiz or Manny? The answer is Ortiz, who takes amazing advantage of the many mistakes made by pitchers fearing the 'goof' on deck."

OK, Skip, we're throwing you on the moron pile.

Anonymous said...

As well we should. Who had more intentional walks this season? Ortiz. Manny had a great season with a pathetic Millar batting behind him much of the time, a semi-pathetic Nixon batting behind him the rest of the time, and yet he wasn't passed intentionally very often. Oh, I know, you Protection Mythologists...THAT was because Ortiz batted IN FRONT of Manny. Right?

I am resigned to hearing this silly "logic" from high-paid "experts" like Sutcliffe and Berman for the rest of my life.