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How About Manny Mania at Citi Field?

By Mike Silva ~ November 8th, 2010. Filed under: Mike Silva, New York Mets, Offseason Speculation.

During his introductory press conference Sandy Alderson talked about how baseball is part theater. No one represents that statement better than Manny Ramirez. Whether it’s hanging out in the Fenway scoreboard, flopping around the outfield, or drinking vodka before a game, Ramirez is a show onto himself. The Mets tried to acquire Ramirez numerous times under Omar Minaya. First, after the 2004 World Series, then at the ’05 trading deadline and some believe they thought about making him an offer before the 2009 season. Ramirez and Minaya never got the reunion they wanted, but could it happen now at his age 38 season? I got the idea from SNY’s Howard Megdal who lists Ramirez as a value free agent in his weekly column. It’s an interesting idea since you would have to figure out how he would fit into an outfield that already has Jason Bay, Angel Pagan, and Carlos Beltran.

Why Ramirez? First, he would sell tickets. The Mets don’t have much flexibility so there will be no announcement of Cliff Lee, Jayson Werth, or Carl Crawford at Citi Field this winter. Alderson is focusing on bringing in big name executives, rightfully so, and hopefully a former Mets second basemen as his manager. Those moves are imperative to the future of the organization, but will not attract “Joe and Jane fan” to the box office. The signing of Ramirez certainly will.

On the field this is obviously a bit of a risk. He can’t play every day and probably needs the DH spot to do so, but even in 66 games Ramirez had a .915 OPS for the Dodgers. I look at him as a modern day Rickey Henderson in the sense he can do anything he wants as long as he puts his mind to it. Ramirez was mentally done in LA. Yes, there was the calf strain, but we saw what happened in Boston when Manny was disinterested: injuries mount and take longer to heal. New York can energize him, and I bet they get a good season out of him.

How does he fit into the equation? We don’t know if Carlos Beltran will be here, but I suspect if he is we aren’t looking at more than 110 games play next year. Ramirez could serve the same role that Gary Sheffield was brought in to play in 2009. Power hitting fourth outfielder that will play a couple of times a week. Could he or Jason Bay play right field? Why not have Manny spot Bay and Beltran 2-4 times a week. You could make it an outfield rotation. I was also impressed enough with Bay in the outfield where I believe he could shift to right for Ramirez. Remember, you have Angel Pagan covering plenty of ground in center. Obviously this is a very creative scenario, but might be worth it for the kind of offense Ramirez brings to the table.

So what kind of money are we talking here? Megdal suggests 1 year/$4 million. I believe that’s in the ballpark, but probably would have to include incentives in the deal as well.

Ultimately Ramirez will probably sign with an American League club so he can DH. There’s also the possibility that he is sitting around in early February without a job. That’s when I would swoop in and try to see if there is a fit in Queens. Who knows, maybe you get that last great season out of Ramirez before his body really gives out. What a story that would be.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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5 Responses to How About Manny Mania at Citi Field?

  1. Dalers

    Manny Bay Beltran=Worst def OF of all time

    just what u need in a pitching and defense park

  2. Ken Waldmann

    I don’t think the Mets should be looking at one-year solutions at this point.

  3. Stu B

    Manny’s 38 and played only 90 games last year…since he can’t juice up anymore, he’s a train that’s left the station…the Mets are in more of a rebuilding mode, and he wouldn’t help even if he had anything left…

  4. AstoriaMetsFan

    Hell will freeze over before Manny Ramirez signs a contract to be a bench player in the NL. He will get multiple and far more luctrative offers to DH in the AL and will not be a hit to his ego. To even speculate about this is a waste of your reader’s time.

  5. Joel G.

    “Ramirez was mentally done in LA. Yes, there was the calf strain, but we saw what happened in Boston when Manny was disinterested: injuries mount and take longer to heal. New York can energize him, and I bet they get a good season out of him.”

    Yeah making $20 million a year just isn’t enough to motivate him. I can’t say I blame him. Seriously, I never heard of such an awful idea as bringing an over the hill, injury prone, defensively challenged, mental case to Citifield – a tough park for power hitters. By the way how did he do in Chicago?

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