Perfect Storm for Yankees-Red Sox Rivalry

February 6, 2009

by Patrick SJ Read…
In an ironic move, the Los Angeles Dodgers just made a third (and final?) offer to the highly-touted lightning rod, Manny Ramirez, just after Joe Torre had released his “new screenplay.”

In the book, Mr. Torre takes some off-the-cuff shots in a seemingly bitter manner at another lightning rod of a baseball star, Alex Rodriguez.

If Manny becomes a Dodger, then the two might go on to share equal starring roles in Joe’s sequel—instead of sharing a career home run chase on the same team, year after year. Think of Maris and Mantle in 1961 and then stretch it out over a few years…

Torre appeared on Larry King and explained that he “wouldn’t have written anything any different than what’s offered in the book,” which is expected to be released in the coming days.

Excusing the hypocrisy of a coach who is highly heralded for protecting his players from the mass media, Torre almost directly gave the same reason for his new book, “A-Rod is a lightning rod, and no matter what’s said or done relative to him, there will always be a huge reaction.”

Like the type reaction required when releasing a new tell-all?

News of Torre’s behind-the-scenes look at the Yankees and several key players broke last week, after Manny had already turned down LA’s second offer of two years, $45 million.

Since the book has been released, LA has now made a third offer for one year and $25 million.

Manny rejected LA again.

Foot Meet Mouth

Some authors take liberties in their books to create buzz over its release—take any neo-history book for example.

Or take Kirk Radomski’s new thriller, which names more than 300 players not mentioned in the Mitchell Report. Note to self: Do not make deals with criminal elements lest they take advantage and a veritable mess ensues.

There is an obvious bias against the Yankees already, and Torre is cashing in on the feeding frenzy.

Perhaps he blames A-Rod for the team not winning a title, despite Joe’s own failure in reaching the postseason seven years in a row without another victory since the last championship in 2000. At least A-Rod earned two MVP awards.

There seems to be some spite between Joe and his ex-players; but professionals are expected to take it up behind the scenes. An old adage comes to mind, “What happens in the locker room, stays in the locker room.”

“I knew it was you Fredo. You broke my heart.”

LA Joe’s penalty for his new book might be the loss of Ramirez to the very target of his new “screenplay,” but like his new commercial says—at least LA Joe can still enjoy his “wheat grass.”

I liked him better with a closed mouth and green tea—like he used to have when a Yankee. Now I am unsure if he ever really was a Yankee or was he just like an old lady, keeping a diary for his new drama??

Manny and the Yanks

According to a Dominican Source, it was rumored that the Yankees had offered Ramirez a three-year, $75 million deal—but maybe that source just got it wrong.

“Only fools count out the Yankees when it comes to free agents,” a source said of Ramirez. “Hank (Steinbrenner) wants him, but he isn’t alone in the organization. They need somebody to protect Alex (Rodriguez).”

Why would Manny take $25 million for one year to play in LA? A one-year offer should be worth his peak market, plus some. Another one year notable was Clemens, who made $28 million and 22 dollars. A-Rod makes $27.5 per year for 10 years. So, what does the market really make Manny worth?

IF LA was serious, then they would make a serious offer. There were far more serious offers for Teixeira—who has a lesser bat and career than does Manny.

If he signed for $20 million with Boston over five years ago—and Boston won the World Series with him—why would he expect a pay cut?

Even if the “economy” (which has nothing to do with baseball’s market) recovered, Manny would be another year older next off-season, and competing against A-Rod for top-dollar would be less likely because he is another year older.

Add to the mix that A-Rod and Manny work out together during the off-season, and are friends. Manny wants to break 700 home runs (he meant to say 714—Babe Ruth’s record), so fans could watch the most interesting record chase of all-time—on one team.

No wonder jealousy is everywhere, but baseball needs its stories. Its legend is priceless.

The Rivalry

Look at all the anti-Yankee articles written this off season. There are Boston writers who proclaim that the “Yanks are just trying to buy it.”

The same writers bashed New York for signing Giambi for seven years, $120 million. “They’re just trying to buy it,” was again the talk out of New England.

So, explain what Boston just tried to do with the Mark Teixeira situation, other than to show hypocrisy and offer him $170 million for seven years—$50 million more than Giambi’s contract. That’s one hell of an inflation rate.

Or was someone just trying to drive the price up on a team who lost its first baseman?

The Stadium

Other writers whine about New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg not charging the Yankees taxes on the government bonds lent them. They cry outrage. To them I would say this; “at least the taxpayers of New York City will get their money back.”

Some professional teams demand their city pay for the stadium and residents then become really outraged. How can the public be charged for admission to a publicly financed building?

The Yankees are not asking for any help at all.  They’ve donated luxury suites to the city—seats that normally would sell for $20,000 per game—and already pay an incredible amount in property taxes.

Imagine what it costs in taxes to own a park in the most expensive place in the world—not because of its luxury, but because of its population.  Its worth is result of rental units—aka commercial property.

The Yankees also disclosed that they were considering moving the location of the new stadium out of the Bronx for that very reason.

The settlement between the Yankees and the city called for the city to offer tax free bonds, and in return, the team would donate luxury suites to the city. However, the city is selling those luxury seats instead of using to reward heroes… like firefighters.

That’s right. The city is selling something like a business would—for profit—from their citizens who paid for them already by way of lost tax revenue.

Nonetheless, the friction is good for the best rivalry in all of sports, and baseball needs those types of story lines to survive.

The Belly of the Monster

Hence the reason that Manny finds himself in the belly of the monster of a perfect storm.

On one hand, Torre just laid the smack down on the Yankees—players and the organization alike. I think it’s safe to say that Torre will never coach the Yanks again.

Maybe Torre’s new name should be “Fredo Joe.”

No Yankee player—nor coachshould help out Joe and read his book, and thus have to answer questions about the book after every game—dragging the fans through more drama.

Manny, meanwhile, already has more drama in his everyday life than the average person.

Will he trust Joe to keep him out of his next book?  Will his new one be called “The Manny Years” or “The Dodger Years”?

What could possibly come out about Ramirez? His attitude, professionalism, his prima donna behaviors?  Would you expect “LA Joe” to have anything negative to write about Manny?

The Reversed-Curse… Reversed.

Not to mention the mass amount of irony should the Yankees sign Manny in a sort of Ruthian Encore a near century after getting The Babe from Boston, which cast the “Curse of the Bambino” on the Red Sox Nation.

Call it karma for the Boston fanatic who buried Papi’s jersey on hallowed ground trying to cast his own selfish spell.

Call it karma for Manny feeling scorned by a manager who shopped him publicly, and even while on the air during a game against the Yankees midseason.

Call it karma for Boston’s legal consultant, George Mitchell, leading baseball from pureness with his report.

Call it vindication for Manny, who sniffed out his future with the Sox and called them on it.

Maybe Manny would best serve baseball if he donned the pinstripes and reversed the Yankees’ own World Series curse.

After all, it would be talked about for decades to come. How the Red Sox let the Babe go, and the penalty was nearly a century between World Series titles—and then did the same thing again by letting Manny go.

Call it history repeating itself.

Well, two things are certain—history repeats itself, and karma is a bitch. Yankee fans want to see Manny do the Super Manny pose for them—in Fenway—walk-off style, and begin a new era for the curse, “The Curse of the Man Ram.”

Yankee Manni-acs are lining up for the showdown already, despite reports suggesting that the Yankees have reached their max free agency number.

The Yankees can petition to add another “type A player” because of the amount available, considering New York lost “A players” in Moose, Giambi and Abreu. They should be allowed to replace them.

Who replaces Abreu—considering the Yankees scored 200 fewer runs last year than in 2007?

Did you know that Emmanuel “Manny” Ramirez is originally from New York City? He immigrated there from the Dominican at the age of 14—and stayed put until he moved away to play ball for Cleveland.

He possesses a serious grudge against Boston, and he wants vindication—much like Torre did against the Yankee front office. Manny’s grudge wasn’t about the fans or players, but about management.

Manny said he wanted to play for the Yankees—even while playing for another team.  Steinbrenner said that he wanted to see Manny as a Yankee. Were they each lying?

Start Spreading the News….

The last report about the Yankees getting Manny said that New York would have to shop Nady and Swisher to save about $14 million on its payroll.

  • The latest report, filed last week, stated that Nady and Swisher are still being talked about by the Yankee front office.

Of course, there is always Matsui too. He offered to waive his no trade clause last year. There is a market in Seattle for him.

Then there is also Johnny Damon. He, Matsui, and Nady are nearly the same type of player—a left-fielder who hits for average.

The difference? Damon and Matsui each make $13 million. Swisher nets $10 million. If New York is trying to save money, then they should keep Nady and deal the more expensive extras instead.

And just like the Teixeira signing, there is an eerie silence as Red Sox Nation holds its collective breath waiting for the perfect storm to slam into Boston, making for some real “dirty water.”

A “Manny in Pin Stripes” Hurricane.

A perfect—for so many reasons—real history-making “Yankee Storm.”