COULD MANNY RAMIREZ end up wearing pinstripes before his career is over? Unlikely perhaps. But impossible? Certainly not.
Ramirez’s declaration this weekend that he wouldn’t object to a trade from the Boston Red Sox was probably just Manny being Manny.
Of course, it had nothing to do with the fact that he is in the last season of an eight-year, $160 million contract.
The Red Sox have an option to sign him for $20 million for 2009, and another $20 million for 2010.
Could he do better elsewhere? Possibly, but at 36, he’s probably looking for a little love and long-term security.
Ramirez’s relationship with the Red Sox has been turbulent. So it wasn’t exactly a bombshell when he told ESPN’s Spanish language station: “I’m tired of them. They’re tired of me.”
“If the Red Sox are a better team without Manny Ramirez, they should trade me. I will not object,” he reportedly said.
RED SOX STAR IS WILLING TO PLAY IN IRAQ
“I don’t have any preferences. I could choose a team that offers me the best conditions or one in the chase for the post-season. I don’t care where I play. I can even play in Iraq if need be. My job is to play baseball.”
Iraq might be the best place for a man with such an explosive personality. But, in the unlikely event of Boston letting him go, why not the Bronx?
After all, no man has produced as many big hits against the Yankees as Manny. He’s batting close to .500 against them in the last 10 games alone.
He was raised in the Washington Heights district of New York City and seems to be pretty good pals with the Yanks’ star man Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod even recorded a special message congratulating Manny on his 500th home run.
There’s precedence too of a big-name player leaving the Red Sox for their deadly rivals. Johnny Damon did just that in 2005.
Despite the signing of Xavier Nady, the Yanks could do with a right-handed slugger and salary wouldn’t be a problem.
Two things, however, might prevent it happening. No team needs Manny more right now than the Red Sox, even with David Ortiz back in the line up.
And would Joe Girardi and the management team really want the hassle of dealing with the many moods of Manny?