Obsessing About Manny

Even on the day that Cee Cee arrived in the Bronx to inspect his new workplace…

all I could think about was him
Everywhere I looked, Yankees bloggers were going completely bloggy over the possibility that the Manster might become a Bomber. Some were pro. Some were con. Some said Hank and Hal were pro. Some said Cashman and Girardi were con. Which reports were accurate? Which were pure speculation? It got to the point where my brain just exploded.
I’ve been all over the blogosphere letting it be known that I was firmly in the “con” camp. Manny, I acknowledged, was a gifted hitter who would, indeed, come cheaper than Teixeira, but the Yankees didn’t need a troublemaker, a malingerer, a guy who shoved traveling secretaries. Besides, we had enough aging outfielders to fill a hotel ballroom with DH-es.
I’d convinced myself that I knew what I was talking about…..until I had a conversation with my brother-in-law, the rabid Red Sox fan.
Geoff lives in Concord, NH. (“Live free or die!”) He was the photo editor at both the Concord Monitor and the Boston Globe, and now has a very successful photography business. But this is the thing about Geoff: He loves Manny. He misses Manny. He’s sure the Red Sox would have won the ’08 World Series if they’d kept Manny. And – here’s the biggie – he thinks the Yankees would be lucky to get Manny.
She-Fan: So what do you love about Manny?
Geoff: He’s one of the best right-handed hitters that’s ever played the game. Nobody works harder.
She-Fan: Excuse me?
Geoff: It’s true. You ask any manager, any player. Ask Joe Torre and Don Mattingly. No one works harder than Manny.
She-Fan (trying not to choke): What about his defense?
Geoff: It’s gotten better every year. He wasn’t a liability, that’s for sure. People underestimate him because he’s very young emotionally.
She-Fan: Are you saying he’s, um, developmentally challenged?
Geoff: No. He just plays like a kid. He has that kind of enthusiasm.
She-Fan: He didn’t sound very enthusiastic when he was sniping at the Red Sox.
Geoff: I think what he said was true. Whenever they want to get rid of someone, they vilify them. They did the same thing with Nomar and Pedro. They even did it with Mo Vaughn. There are two sides to every story.
She-Fan: They didn’t make up the fact that he got into a little tiff with Youkilis.
Geoff: Youkilis is an *******. He comes into the dugout after he makes an out and starts cursing and acting crazy. Manny just told him to cut it out.
She-Fan: And the traveling secretary? Didn’t Manny take the poor guy down?
Geoff (laughs): Nobody’s perfect.
She-Fan: So you give him a pass for that?
Geoff: No. But look at how much he brought to the Red Sox. Big Papi would never have been the hitter he’s been without Manny.
She-Fan: Do you have a favorite Manny moment?
Geoff: When he went inside the Green Monster to go to the bathroom during a game.
She-Fan: I can’t imagine him pulling that stuff with the Yankees. No way.
Geoff: Can you imagine him batting behind Alex Rodriguez? Do you have any idea how many strikes A-Rod will see? Can you live with the two of them hitting 50 home runs a year? Do the names Mantle and Maris ring a bell? Are you at all interested in a few more World Championships for the Yankees?
He had me there.
She-Fan: Let me ask you one more question, and I want you to take all the time you need to answer it. What will you do if Manny does sign with the Yankees?
Geoff (without missing a beat): I’ll become a Yankee fan.
Needless to say, I was stunned. Stunned! 
Here’s a shot of Geoff and me at Fenway in ’07 when I was there for my book.


Doesn’t he look happy? Could this lifelong Red Sox fan really switch sides? Does Manny Ramirez truly have the power to convert someone to another religion?
Apparently so.


  1. levelboss

    i read somewhere that the Yankees have unloaded about $88 million/yr after this year..

    SO FAR they’ve signed on about $40+ million only (CC + AJ + Swisher = about $40+ mil/yr).. so i’m wondering why they aren’t major players for Teixeira

    regardless, i think IF Teixeira is signed elsewhere, then the Yankees would go full-on for Manny..

    get used to it people, my feeling is that Manny will be in dark blue pinstripes in 2009

  2. levelboss

    2009 ALCS
    CC vs Beckett
    AJ vs Dice-K
    Wang vs Lester
    Pettitte vs Buchholz
    Chamberlain vs Wakefield



    Brown, Kottaras, Wagner, Varitek, ??

    that would be a baseball series for the ages, people (could trump 2003 and 2004)

  3. juliasrants

    Sorry Jane, but I will have to disagree with your brother-in-law. I think Manny had become such a distraction to the team that they would not have made it as far as they did. The team played with a renewed vigor after he was traded. I as a Red Sox fan do NOT miss Manny. Good riddance I say and I would caution any team interested in him. Good luck to the Yankees. They would need it with him!


  4. PAUL

    Some of your pics are tilting toward the disturbing, Jane; but nowhere near as disturbing as the image of me looking (as Jeff put it) like Godzilla towering over NYC.
    I truly don’t think Manny is a good fit for the Yankees and that he’d prefer to be somewhere other than in the middle of Yankees-Red Sox from the opposite end of where he’s been all these years, but that’s my speculation. He’d put up the numbers though, that’s a given.

  5. steve_t

    Hi Jane. Sorry for my lack of participation. Last week’s storm knocked out my cable and the Comcast guy is due later today to get me back online. (Using the work computer to comment–don’t tell!)

    Anyway, I agree and disagree with your bro-in-law. Manny is a great hitter–always has been, always will be. But does he really believe they trashed Pedro after offering him a solid three-year deal? They refused to go for a fourth year due to health concerns–and they were absolutely correct (and won another WS without him). Finally, Jane, let your brother-in-law know that, in truth, there is no bathroom inside the scoreboard room of the Green Monster. Sorry to burst his bubble.

    Steve T.

  6. Jane Heller

    Well, Geoff can’t say I didn’t warn him. I told him he’d be hearing it from people and I thank you all for being polite, even though you think he’s nuts!

    levelboss, your projected lineups are interesting. I can’t help but notice that you’ve handed the Red Sox Teixeira. Hm.

    Julia, you echo the sentiments of most Red Sox fans I know. Which is why I was so startled by Geoff’s reaction. But he honestly preferred the ’04 team of idiots and cowboys to what he calls the more “corporate” Red Sox of today. What can I tell you?

    Paul, I don’t have any idea where Manny prefers to play. Do you? Really? At this point, I think he just wants the best deal. And since he doesn’t appear to be besieged with offers, I’m guessing he’ll “prefer” to play wherever they pay him.

    Steve, always great to see you back. We all miss your comments and posts. Sorry your cable got knocked out in the storm. My above-mentioned bro-in-law was hit by that storm too. He’ll be crushed when I tell him there’s no bathroom inside the Green Monster. It’ll be like telling him there’s no Santa Claus. Or is there?

    You’re right, Kaybee. He’s a very strange RS fan. But he’s one of the nicest people I know, so I can’t hold it against him.

  7. bostonredsoxgirl46

    Sorry it’s taken me a while to respond, I was horribly busy with
    exams. Manny was my favorite player when he was on the Red Sox, but I was absolutely devestated when he left. I had defended him in the numerous arguments I had with my friend, and it was all for nothing. I was really upset at him because he kind of stopped trying towards the end. I remember listening to this game on the radio, the last game Manny played with the Red Sox, and the game was just horrible, there was some kind of sad air to it. I was upset at him for the way he left, but I still have a huge spot in my heart for him. With that, if he went to the Yankees, I would be so upset. Johnny Demon was my favorite player and he left, I don’t know if I could take another blow like that. I wouldn’t convert to a Yankee fan, I never will (that would also lead to my family disowning me if I became a Yankee fan). But Manny wouldn’t be a great fit for the Yankees. He is too carefree and the Yankees are too uptight for him.

  8. levelboss

    Jane, the only reason i put Teixeira in Boston’s lineup already is because they seem to be the lead team to acquire him (rumors of $180 mil/8), AND the Yankees have yet to put up any bid.. i read that they won’t try to get Tex if the bidding goes higher, and it looks like it already has

    the Yankees need a fat bat regardless, and i’d think that Manny would be the only power bat left after Tex.. hence, Manny at cleanup protecting A-Rod

  9. Jane Heller

    Jeff, I’ll be sure to show what my brain looks like after I hear the news that Manny has been signed. It won’t be pretty.

    Elizabeth, I don’t want your family to disown you! I do understand your feelings about Manny, and I sympathize. It would really hurt to see a favorite Yankee in a Red Sox uniform. Maybe Steve will be right and Manny will go to the Angels.

    Hilarious article, Duque. You’ve all the Caroline Kennedy bases covered, so to speak. And yes, I’ll think Tex. In my dreams.

    I hear you on the bat part, levelboss. I do. I just don’t want the DRAMA.

  10. Kylie

    Personally, I hate ManRam. He’s such a prima donna, and he’s an example of what baseball players turn into when money is king. The Yankees don’t need any more jerks on their team. He disrespects his teammates, his fans, and the game with his antics and I wish he would live on as a Dugout character and not an actual player.
    Kylie — http://kylie.mlblogs.com

  11. levelboss

    well i’m thinking that perhaps Manny’s old teammate, Johnny Damon, can balance him out (at least through 2009 any way as Damon’s contract is up after next year)
    maybe between Swisher’s levity and AJ’s practical jokes Manny could actually be happy and relaxed in the dugout

  12. welikeroywelikeroy

    As I’ve said before. ‘Manny joining the Yankees would be flat out weird.’ I commented on another blog (you are right it’s everywhere), that Manny joining the Yankees would be like Axel Rose joining the 3 tenors. I saved another metaphor for your great blog. Like a professional ‘cow bell’ performer joining the New York Philharmonic.

  13. Jane Heller

    Kylie, you described Manny perfectly: a dugout character. But he’s also one of the best hitters in the game so I’m sure he’ll land somewhere. Just not with the Yankees, please.

    levelboss, I don’t think the dugout is the problem with him. He was happy in the RS dugout, palling around with Ortiz. He’s friendly with A-Rod and Jeter and Damon. But how would he get along with Girardi?

    A cowbell performer joining the NY Philharmonic. Now that’s an interesting turn of phrase, Jeremy!

  14. rabruzzese

    I have to admit, I drank the cool-aid. I’m obsessed with Manny as well. I would love to see the Yankees get Manny. I think your brother in law is right, the Sox could have won last year with Manny. He is a serious bat and he would certainly make a difference in the playoffs.

  15. Jane Heller

    I agree about the bat. But what if he decides he’s “injured” and sits out a few games? Girardi couldn’t get Cano to hustle on ground balls. Would he really be able to handle Manny?

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