We’ve all heard the pros and cons of signing 12-time All Star, Manny Ramirez. Despite all of his hardware and all of his dramatic homeruns, Manny makes a lot of Mets fans nervous.
They say he is too temperamental and could cause chaos in a clubhouse. Both of those characterizations are way overblown, but I won’t argue those points because they have been beaten to death already.
Instead, let me give you three other reasons why the Mets should be targeting Manny Ramirez as the centerpiece of their off season bonanza.
1. The Subway Series – The Mets will face the Yankees six times this season, and while they usually hold their own, having Manny Ramirez in the lineup will practically guarantee at least four wins if not a sweep. Manny is the ultimate Yankees killer and has been terrorizing them since he fir broke into the league. In 200 games against them, he has slugged 55 homers and drove in 165 runs. In the last three seasons he is batting .455 with a slugging percentage of .856 in 132 at-bats. In that same span he has hit 14 homeruns and drove in 40 runs. He may be the greatest Yankee killer of all time.
2. Post Season – If you are a team that truly has post season aspirations, then Manny Ramirez is your man. No player in baseball history has more homeruns than the 28 Manny Ramirez has slugged in post season play. It’s a record that he will continue to build upon, and one that may never be broken again. He also is the all time RBI leader in post season play with 74. He was the World Series MVP in 2004 when the Red Sox finally broke their curse. He is at his absolute best when he is in the spotlight, and will never shrink when the pressure is so intense it could make most players fall flat. Just imagine if it was Manny Ramirez at the plate on that fateful day during the final game of the 2006 NLCS…
3. Chasing History - The team fortunate enough to sign Manny Ramirez will not just get Manny the player, they will also get Manny the marketing departments dream come true. Manny will no doubt become the number one marketing dynamo for his new team. He will fill ballparks in every city and will become a huge draw as he begins to chase Willie Mays and Babe Ruth on the all time homerun list. He currently stands in 17th place with 527 homers, and he will easily surpass Mickey Mantle, Jimmy Foxx, and Mike Schmidt in 2009 and move into 10th place. He should also overtake Honus Wagner, Frank Robinson and Ted Williams next season as he moves up the list of all time RBI leaders.
The Wilpons may have caught a break in 2009 as far as selling seats for the new stadium, but the sky-rocketing cost of ticket prices have them worried about 2010 and beyond. Sign Manny and ease your worries, as he will deliver a packed house game after game.
The Mets may have cured their 2008 bullpen woes, but it’s a new season with new potential problems. A revamped bullpen does not make the Mets a lock to win the division, despite what all the stat crunchers will tell you. Stats have always been more of a tool to analyze the past than to predict the future. Although, don’t tell them that.
Questions remain about the rotation, left field, second base and the bench. Manny Ramirez can make most of those questions easily go away. Sign him, get Lowe or Perez, and you could practically switch on the auto-pilot for the 2009 season.