Wednesday, January 7, 2009

To Manny or Not To Manny . . .

. . . that is the question.

Or, is one Manny too many?

Seriously. The ManRam talk is heating up. Do we or don't we?

1. If you believe the Giants are "one player away" from competing for the playoffs, then it is hard to argue against taking a shot at Ramirez. He's the premier bat out there and prices for FAs are falling. He's right-handed and has already destroyed the NL West, so his power numbers would hold up in our Park.

2. If you think, like me, the Giants are two years (at least) from being a contender, then it is easy to pass on Ramirez. We had Barry Bonds, the greatest LF ever, if not the greatest player ever, and would not re-sign him even though he would still be one of the best hitters in the game. Ramirez is younger, and currently healthier, but the rationale for cutting ties with Bonds--The Youth Movement--hold with No. 99 as well.

So, me bhoyos, do you want to see Manuel Aristides Onelcida Ramirez in orange and black?


Theo said...

I think the Giants are possibly one player away, if that one player is Manny (at least in the NL West). Once you're in the playofss the Giants are primed to make some noise with Timmy and Cain, et all.

Sure, his defense combined with Renteria and Sandoval (if he's at third) will likely cost us something, but unlike Velez, Man-Ram will more than make up for it. His defense is also overly criticized as is Lewis's D is often wrongfully accepted as good.

This staff is too good to waste a year with a '08 type offense. And, I don't think Sabean would have signed Renteria, Johnson, Affeldt and Howry if he didn't have his eyes set on making a significant improvement, and perhaps more to the point, keeping his job.

My biggest concern with Manny is between the lines. Unlike Bonds, who was always a professional on the field and locked in to perform at his best, Manny can lose focus on the game. That's hard to swallow.

Bob said...

I've coveted Ramirez for years. He's simply a great clutch hitter, probably even greater than Bonds in some regards.
(I use the word "greater" rather than "better" very deliberately. An example- Joe Montana was clearly a greater QB than Steve Young, but was he a better football player? I say emphatically No.)
Ramirez will be remembered as the guy who finally won the WS for Boston. Bonds will be remembered as a juiced-up jerk.
The rationale for getting rid of Bonds was that he is a criminal and the moment he broke his big record he was utterly obsolete. With all due respect.

Ron said...

Don't want a big jerk like Manny Ramirez on my team. On what day is he going to decide to stop trying? On what day is he going to come to the ballpark ready to play? Who needs that crap? As Theo says, Bonds was always ready to play - big difference. There are other players available who can make us a lot better without being idiots. (No, not Crede or Wigginton.)

M.C. O'Connor said...

I have a hard time believing we are competitive even with Manny. We have no one at 1b, 2b or 3b that we know is a major league hitter. I'm very excited about Pablo Sandoval, but I remember being equally excited by Chris Brown, may he rest in peace, and Chris Brown was an All-Star before he faded. Fred Lewis proved he was a worthy ML starter, but not a star. Rowand is mediocre at best. Molina is an lead-legged iron-gloved out-maker. Renteria is an upgrade, but is still a league-average hitter. We have Great Tim, Very Good Matt, Uncertain Jonathan, Stinkbomb Zito and a 45-year old guy in his last season. If Tim or Matt get hurt we are done. We might crack .500 if all goes well.

Ron said...

If the only way that we can win is to get that cheesy hambone, I'd prefer not to win - I'm serious. On the other hand, I think that we can win by acquiring someone like Garrett Atkins, for example, who is supposedly available. One thing that I like about him is that his splits between Coors Field & the road indicate that, although his average is lower on the road, he still drives in a lot of runs in road games.

Ron said...

And another thing ... I have never been a huge fan of Bengie, but your 'out-maker' characterization seems a bit harsh. Yes, we know about his below par OBP, but there are 3 other big factors in his favor:

- His above par average & OBP w/ runners on & w/ 2 outs & runners on.

- The fact that he puts the ball in play & rarely whiffs.

- The fact that NO ONE ELSE on the team is capable of the 2 items above.

Zo said...

OK, I am going to weigh in with an opinion that is at least partly contrary here. I am agreeing with Theo, particularly his final paragraph. I realize that many of us have observed Manny's behavior for ourselves, but we have also all read the voluminous press about him, and it smells to me much like the press about Bonds. Manny is not a (former) Gold Glove outfielder, and I know what he has done on occasion, but it seems like, in world where you either a saint or an evildoer, Manny has been annointed the next worst thing next to Bonds by the press. It may be only a coincidence that they are both dark and opinionated, but every time I read something about how Manny "destroys team chemistry" or some other bullshit, I wonder if the writer has any observations at all to back that up. Nuff said. Manny is an awesome hitter, he could improve the Giants by a lot. I would rather win. There are other players I might rather have, except, those players don't seem to be available. We are getting to the point of debating whether a player can add one win or 1.5. I know that stats have a lot of predictive power and a good track record, but really - there is a lot of things that can happen in a season. We do not have sure things in our youngsters. We do not have a sure thing among our youngsters. I wish we did. I would like to see youth play and I do not want to block someone who is promising, but really, "promising" is a stretch for any of these guys. If we were not locked into a long term contract, I would take Manny in a heartbeat, and expect the Giants to contend (at least in the west) because of it.

ps. I would also like to see more players with dreadlocks.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Yeah, more 'locks. 'Fros, mullets, the works. This crytpo-fascist shaved-head & crewcut vibe the players do now is tiresome. Bring back the 70s.

Zo, you're right. (Did I really just type that?) I have no problem with ballplayers being ballplayers. As long as they aren't gangsters and thugs I could give a shit.

Hell, I'd sign Ramirez just so wouldn't have to watch Molina hit fourth. Bochy is hopelessly in love with Molina's supposed "clutchiness." Gag me! The guy had 569 PAs last year and made 409 outs! His BA and OBP were HIGHER than his career norms, and he STILL made outs almost 72% of the time. In fact, I'd argue the bump in BA was due to hitting fourth. He benefitted from having guys on base--he saw more fastballs and more pitches from the stretch.

Anonymous said...

I like seeing Molina's out-making prowess publicized, if only because it's a detail lost on casual fans. But it's not quite fair to say "he STILL made outs almost 72% of the time." He had 569 PAs, 386 of which resulted in outs -- that's mathematically his .322 OBP, or making an out (or outs) about 68% of the time. He had 23 GIDPs, which means he accounted for 23 extra outs (for a total of 409). That's a lot, esp. for a low-OBP guy, but it doesn't mean he made outs 72% of the time. If we're going to recognize the high # of GIDPs as "bad outs", we might also mention that Bengie's 409 outs included 11 sacrifice flies ("good outs?").

Anyway, thanks. Not sure if I'm a first-time poster or not, but I enjoy the blog and thought of you while driving through the Siskiyous last week.

M.C. O'Connor said...

OK, I admit that I shamelessly manipulate statistics in order to reinforce my biases.

Indeed, Molina's true "safe" percentage is .322 thus making his "out" percentage .678. I just like making him sound worse than he actually is, only because he is our CLEANUP hitter. If he hit 7th I would love him like a brother.

JC Parsons said...


Your post has achieved the impressive "Double Digit Heckle" mark. This thread is worthy of a quick rehash and critique by yours truly, the Eleventh.

Original Post: B+
Actually surprising that this topic generated such interest. As it has turned out it would seem that the Giants don't have a real interest which is not surprising. Good point: Manny is a "one player" away type. Also, I agree with the Barry comparison...which is just more evidence that getting Manny was never a reality. Disagree with: Our boys definitely contend within two years, possibly this year.

Theo: A
I completely agree with almost all of this insightful heckle. One small disagree: I believe that Fred improved his defense last year (although I have no stats to back that up) and I look for him to get even more consistent.

Bob: A
Get over Steve Young! He doesn't deserve to hold Joe's jock strap. And about Barry...jeez, BLB is so much better and greater than Manny. Rameriz has one dimension to his game, one that might be considered on par with Bonds, but everything else is not even close. So, I don't agree with a thing you said but you sure stirred me up, so that's why the good grade. Love ya, bro.

Ron: A-
As always, this trio of zingy heckles were filled with Ron's passion. I absolutely believe him when he says he would rather not win with Manny, and to be honest I'm not sure I could say that. Only thing keeping this effort from a perfect score is my hesitance to agree with getting Adkins (don't really know enough) and your defense of Molina, who I am really sick of.

Zo: A-
What would a quality thread be without a conspiracy theory? Your point about the media's role in Mannymania is well taken. However, I guess I agree with Ron here, in the sense that Manny has been known to give up on the field (at least from the admittedly small exposure I have had) and that is something I want no part of. We need the bat though...

M.C. O'Connor: A-
After all this time, I still love your BS. "Crypto-fascist" is a cool non word. However your pessimism is starting to piss me off. Sure you are probably right, but still...this team is YOUNG and RAW, very likeable, mostly. They are likely better in every category, except maybe defense, and they have TIM. Who, by the way, is going to do better too, you know. How's that for a bold prediction??

Anonymous: A+
Thanks for joining in! Special kudos for showing MCOC's error to the world. Our little blog needs more statheads, and I mean that in a good way.


OK, maybe I grade too easy. Nobody usually complains that way.

Hope you enjoyed this completely scientific and unbiased analysis. See you next post! Keep up the good work!

Zo (searching for extra credit) said...

Hmmmm. Looks like someone is back at work grading papers after a Christmas holiday.

A note today: Shawn Estes signs a minor league contract with the doggers. Trivia: Whom else has been with every NL West team?

Chron note: That idiot (see MOC reply to post of 12/10/08) thinks the Giants should have signed Pat Burrell. This is only worthy of comment as reading it reinforced how wonderful this thing called the internet is - you can find much serious analysis and discussion of Mr. Burrell's strengths and weaknesses, including how he would be unlikely to hit nearly as well in our park.