Jockbeat: Where's the Met Interest in Manny?
Where are the stories in the local press urging the New York Mets to grab Manny Ramirez? So far Filip Bondy in the Jan 24 Daily News is the only one to jump on the story in a big way.
The head and subhead say it all: "A Manny Deal Is A No-Brainer - Minaya and Wilpons Must Put their Thinking Caps On." Bondy's logic cuts to the heart of the matter: "It has now been 45 days [as of Jan 24] since the Mets completed a significant transaction, and the sad truth is they just don't have enough talent on paper to win more games than they did last year. Unless they do something fast, the Mets probably don't have the rotation or the pop to hold off the Phillies in September."
Back on Jan 22, GM Omar Minaya said he was "not interested" in signing Manny - or at least that's what COO Jeff Wilpon said.
"I don't have the opportunity to say no," Wilpon was quoted as saying, "Omar hasn't brought it to me as an option." The Mets should prepare more believable statements before releasing them to the press; it isn't plausible that a Wilpon will not have a say in the Mets' big signings. Especially one that involved a signing that would certainly make the Mets the favorites to win the 1009 National League pennant.
It's true that Manny will turn 37 shortly after the season starts and that, at this point in his career, he's probably better suited for DH work in the American League, but as a hitter he shows no signs of slowing down. Last season, splitting time between the Red Sox and Dodgers, he drove in 121 runs, the most since 2005, and his OBA (.430) and Slugging Average (.601) were both several points above his career numbers. Last year the Mets got by with a platoon of Fernando Tatis and Daniel Murphy, who between combined for 13 home runs and 64 RBIs, numbers Manny (who hit 37 home runs in 2008) might be expected to surpass before the All-Star break.
Bondy is right, the deal is a no-brainer, and we suspect that Omar's lack of interest is a ploy to bring Manny's price down. We also suspect that it will work. The Mets and Manny both need each other too much for it not to happen.
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