I knew it was just a matter of time until the "silly letters" popped up in the papers about Manny Ramirez. And from today's New York Post, I wasn't disappointed (no names mentioned here):
Manny Ramirez should spite his ungrateful Red Sox bosses by insisting that he go into the Hall of Fame in his Boston Red Sox uniform. All Ramirez did was lead the Red Sox to two world championships after 86 years of futility. "Manny being Manny" is what allowed him to become the superstar that he has been. His new manager Joe Torre will know how to handle Ramirez, and the Dodgers will see a tremendous improvement in run production.
Ungrateful Red Sox bosses? Yeah, so ungrateful they paid him $20 million a season, making him one of baseball's highest paid players. I guess this guy doesn't know what a grousing malcontent Ramirez has been over the past couple of months by basically alienating just about the entire front office and just about all of his teammates. Ramirez did everything but lay down on the warning track to get himself out of Boston, sir. Hey, the Sox front office is partially responsible for indulging him with all of his quirks, but they had absolutely no choice to move him.
(Check out this article from today's Post from Joel Sherman. Quite interesting.)
I must also inform you, sir, that Manny (and no other future Hall of Famer) has the choice of which hat (not uniform) that they will wear on their plaque. The Hall makes the choice, and Ramirez will undoubtedly go in with the Sox hat on. And that's fine, as Manny became a legend in Boston. And Red Sox fans, whether they like Ramirez or not, know that, and really hope he goes in with the "B" on the hat.
"Manny being Manny" is not what has allowed Ramirez to be the superstar that he is. Being one of baseball's all-time great right handed hitters has allowed Manny to have the status he has now, whether he's quirky or not.
Joe Torre is so sure how to handle Manny that he actually called Terry Francona right after the trade to ask him about Ramirez (undoubtedly asking about how to "handle" him).
And don't be so sure the Dodgers run production will go up markedly. Dodger Stadium is the toughest park in MLB to hit home runs in this season. And Manny has almost no protection around him. (Guys like Jeff Kent and James Loney don't exactly strike fear in opposition managers.) So if the Dodgers are in a legitimate playoff race in September, opposition pitchers will treat Manny like Barry Bonds at his height. Manny will be drawing tons of walks, either intentional or not. I would bet he will hit 10-12 home runs the rest of this season, but I wouldn't bet LA's run production will soar all that remarkably.
But here's another letter on the same page:
How long until Manny Ramirez starts complaining about his new team? A month? A week? A day? Or has he already begun?
Anyone want to take any bets?