Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Just $5 Million

Unless you're a bear and have been hibernating in a cave all winter long, you've at least heard that the Los Angeles Dodgers have been hot on Manny's trail since the final out of the National League Championship Series.

With just about a month remaining until the Major League season is set to begin, Manny Ramirez and his agent, Scott Boras, have finally agreed to terms with the Dodgers on a 2-year, $45 million deal.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, only a physical stands in the way of the completion of Ramirez returning to Dodger blue.

While the fans are thrilled out west at the news of Manny's return, some fans back home in Boston are less than thrilled, and more so, soured. There will be some fans that could care less what Manny does for the rest of his career, but then there are fans like me that keep an eye on Ramirez from afar.

It's almost like an ex-girlfriend. Boston fans had a great relationship for seven and a half seasons. We had many ups, but we certainly had our downs. From MVP-like numbers to exciting finishes, from World Series rings to World Series MVP's, Ramirez gave us something to root for every single time he took the field.

When things ended for Ramirez in Boston, as abruptly and ridiculous as they did, fans felt as if though Manny Ramirez had turned his back on them. It was a feeling similar to a breakup with a longtime lover. Manny's demise here in Boston was well thought out, all with one reason in mind, more money.

If Ramirez could escape his contract with Boston, in which he had two $20 million options remaining for 2009 and 2010, his agent, Scott Boras, most likely led Ramirez to believe that there would be a 4-year, $100 million offer waiting for him in the off-season if his numbers met the asking price.

Manny split for Hollywood where the slugger hit .396 with 17 home runs, while averaging an RBI a game after driving in 53 runs in 53 games for LA. Certainly these numbers opened many eyes throughout the baseball world, but most eyes remained reluctant to tamper with the risky and unreliable outfielder.

Leaving $40 million on the table in Boston, Ramirez entered a free agent market that had all the potential in the world of making him a $100 million man, if he had any business being a free agent market in the first place. Not honoring the contract that he signed with the Red Sox back in December of 2000 arguably cost Ramirez the contract in which he and his agent were in search of.

Boston fans feel like we were wronged, and rightfully so. The Red Sox didn't trade Manny Ramirez to make the team better, they traded Ramirez because there was no other option. In the end, Manny got what he had comin' to 'em. The right-hander flopped on his team and the fan's that worshiped the ground that he walked on for almost a decade, and for what? Five million dollars.

Say it with me now, five...million...dollars. This may seem like a lot to you or me, but $5 million is a vacation deposit to Manny Ramirez. After agreeing to terms with the Dodgers on a $45 million deal, $5 million more than what he would have made with his pair of $20 million options here in Boston, Red Sox fans have every right to have their jaws hanging low.

You mean to tell me that he couldn't have gathered up $5 million between the money you are rewarded for making the All Star team, potentially winning a World Series and endorsements? The thought is almost ridiculous, but we've all since moved on. Ramirez is no longer our problem, but the aftereffects of the trade still linger as a bitter taste in our mouthes to this day. Hopefully this contract will teach Ramirez the lesson that he needed to learn.

But don't let my opinion speak for the entire fanbase. There are some fans that have said, "Good riddance" from the second he left town, then there are fans like me that are still in awe that a player like Manny Ramirez could have done what he did to a Nation of fans that gave him everything he ever could have asked for. Regardless of which category you may fall into, today, in my opinion, finally puts an end to the end of Manny Ramirez in Boston. I was interested to see exactly how much more he would made elsewhere, instead of here in Boston.

The answer: just $5 million.