Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Disappointed With "The Commissioner"

In this whole mess that's been going on with Manny Ramirez over the past few weeks, one voice that seems to have taken up arms against ManRam is one Peter Gammons.

Courtesy of The Joy of Sox today, Gammons' recent columns at ESPN have been to basically to bash Manny. It seems like the Sox front office is using Gammons to do their "dirty work," and get out as much vitriol against the slugger as they possibly can. (I'd love to put down a link to his columns, but you have to go to that "ESPN Insider" column, the one you have to pay to join. So go there and join it if you'd like to read them in their entirety.)

Gammons always impressed me as being a Manny "defender." He would always go to great lengths to say what a hard worker he was and that no one in the game works at the science of hitting more than Ramirez does. But now he referred to him as an "overpriced DH," and wrote a lengthy piece about how Manny is scared of hard throwers like Felix Hernandez and Joba Chamberlain, who last two starts Manny missed. 

And what really had me scratching my head was Gammons calling Manny's contract "the worst in baseball." Who the hell is Gammons kidding? Could he honestly sit there and say that Manny's eight-year, $160 million deal with two options at $20 million is worse than Carl Pavano's deal, the man the Yankees got to sit on the bench with so-called injuries and steal their money? Or the one Roger Clemens signed last year, a pro-rated deal at $22 million, and who  New York only got two postseason innings out of? Is is worse than the one Andruw Jones signed this past off-season, and he's currently hitting .166 for the Dodgers?

Come on Peter. This was one of the best deals the Sox ever made. In eight seasons he's averaged 34 HRS and 110 RBI, was part of two championships and was World Series MVP in 2004. Yeah, Manny's a bit of a head case, but he was a vital part of this incredible decade of Red Sox baseball. I would say the Sox got their money's worth with Manny. 

It's s obvious that Gammons is doing the bidding of the Red Sox front office, who clearly want to see Ramirez walk out the door and be rid of him. It's sad to see a respected journalist like Peter Gammons doing a character assassination like this on Manny. 

I guess I'd rather have seen CHB doing all this to Manny instead of Gammons. He's much easier to hate.

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