How much sense would it make? How stupid does it sound, my loyal readers?
To give in to Manny Ramirez's not-so-secret desire to get a four-year deal and bring the best hair in baseball (along with a lethal bat) to town would buck conventional thinking and the status quo of a team focused on cultivating talent and watching it develop. It would also be a lot of fun and would turn GABP into a way more lively environment than it has been of late.—-
Sure, go ahead and talk about team chemistry and how "Manny being Manny" would disrupt this or that ... or teach the core youth of the squad bad habits. I opine that Hometown Hero Ken Griffey Jr. did that already. With his "couldn't care less" attitude, singular focus on record attainment and penchant for giving up on balls hit in the gap like a D League softball player, we've already seen it. Not to kick Kenny around more than he need be, but Manny's more of a "piss between innings in the Green Monster" guy than a make throat-slashing gestures at announcers guy.
Ramirez can carry teams for months at a time. He would be expensive, and the fans might be extra leery of him given the longwinded circus involving Chad "Ocho I Don't Like Trying to Catch Footballs If I Might Get Hit" Johnson and the rest of the terrible NFL team our community still tries to love. But the Central is a winnable division. The Reds aren't the Blue Jays or Orioles, stuck with three teams in their division who have and will continue to routinely beat them.
The one thing you know about Manny is he's going to hit. He's not going to slump through a .230 April and May. You could drop the guy out of a plane and he could land in a jungle and promptly hit a home run and a double in his first two at bats. Let him get on one of those stretches where "Manny being Manny" translates into an OBP of .460 with astronomical power numbers.
The Reds could contend, if not win the division if they got Ramirez. He is the rarest of players — one who can put you over the top. This city is so sick and tired of the shitty management of the Bengals that now would be a great time to make a big, splashy, headline-stealing move and turn Cincinnati back into a baseball town. Castellini and Jocketty seem to know what they’re doing, and I'm sure they are aware of the fact that Cincinnatians really, really want their teams to stop losing so much.
With Manny comes certain things you don't like, but if you close your eyes and imagine a bunch of little blonde kids with Manny dreadlock hats in the stands, it starts to make a bit of sense. At GABP Manny could easily contend for the Triple Crown. Dodger Stadium wasn't a hitter’s park. GABP is.
I forgive you, Reds, for signing Willy Taveras, who no matter how much Danny Cross likes is going to have an OBP of under .320. I know Manny probably won't happen, but if it did it would be super sweet.