There has been quite the buzz among Metfans, who see an open leftfield position that could easily be filled by the available free agent slugger Manny Ramirez. In fact, if you are so inclined, you can sign a petition to get him to Queens: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/MannytoMets/index.html
My quick input, before I try to objectively note 5 pros and 5 cons to picking up Manny. I would love to have Manny on the Mets, but for a contract of NO MORE than two, I repeat, two years!!!! I view this exactly as I did with Rickey Henderson, he is worth the risk (all of which is personal and not skills related), but proceed with caution. Treat him like an Atlantic City trip, prepare for the worst and ride the fun as long as it lasts.
1. The dude can mash- plain and simple. He is perhaps one of the greatest clutch, two-strike, power hitters of all time.
2. Like Pedro, he is regarded as on outstanding teammate. Fans and management usually don’t see it that way, but his players love him (probably because of #3).
3. He will take all of the media pressure, as he has done in Cleveland, Boston, and LA, off of the other players. This would be huge for this team, as Beltran, Reyes, and Wright could “hide” and just play ball.
4. E-N-E-R-G-Y. He would bring a buzz to Citi (that sounds weird) that would be Piazza-like.
5. He has something to prove. Baseball, especially hitting, is an ego-driven enterprise, and when you make certain types of players (like Manny) prove something – they usually go off (see #1). Not all players are good in these situations, but Manny has proven that he is.
1. He can “turn it on” and “turn it off”. This is what frustrates fans and management alike. When he is good he is real good, but when he is off, he is really off.
2. Defense. It sucks – he creates his own good plays, like John Franco used to save games.
3. He can be a distraction. If a team hits a slump and he is “off” (see #1), the Mets are in real trouble.
4. Socialization. As much as he could take the pressure off of younger guys, he could also be a bad mentor and example for players like Reyes and Wright.
5. Money, scratch, moulah, dough. He could cost 15-20 million a year easy, money that could be spent on a starter.
I encourage your input.
posted by Gene Anthony