Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Manny fallout...

Manny Ramirez signed the today with the Dodgers. A 2 year, $45 million deal. It is $25 million this year with an opt out, both years have deferred money. This is basically the same deal he had on the table in November and it is essentially $5 million more than he opted out of to become a F.A.. So in the end, he got more money, but no where near what they were shooting for. It also seems apparent that NO other teams ever became involved in the bidding process. Not even the Giants...

Unfortunately for the Giants, their fans did become involved in the bidding process and Manny signing elsewhere may have bigger repercussions than Bill Nuekom or Brian Sabean ever envisioned. Kinda like CC Sabathia, except this time only worse. You see, losing out on an ace lefty starter isn't too bad when you have the pitching staff the Giants have, but losing out on the best power hitter in the game when when the best you currently have is the equivelant of Dan Gladden as clean up or when your fans are used to seeing someone in the likes of a Barry Bonds back there, is potentially dangerous.

Already, when the ink isn't even dry in Los Angeles, fans are calling up local radio stations complaining how the Giants made a huge mistake or heads need to roll. I heard one guy switch his allegiance to the Athletics after this (go then I say). But the reality is, fans are mad. It's not just that Manny signed with the Dodgers, but the Giants didn't really even try... No offer was made... Heck, by the sounds of it in Henry Schulman's latest write up, the Giants didn't even want him. I understand the objective of trying to force the Dodgers to overspend and lock up more money, but someone forgot to tell the fans they were just kidding.

Just for the record, I didn't really want manny, but deep down I did...or was it, I really wanted Manny, but deep down I didn't...I think i'm flip-floping more than John Kerry in 2004 right now. Actually, I said this: I think the Giants should sign Manny to a short term, incentive laden deal, but not to over commit which is what will probably be needed. In the end, he got more than I thought the Giants should go to. Still, the damage has been done and the Giants front office has some repair work to do.

Fans thought they might get offense this off season, considering they've needed it for about 4 years now. Edgar Renteria just doesn't scream "the offense is fixed". As I'm trying to lay out here and here, I think the offense will be just fine, but that's not the perception the fans have. And if things don't go right early, the Giants will be hearing the fans Manny beef not only on the airwaves, but in the box office as well. You see, Manny undoubtably would have brought more fans to the seats, more beverages and food purchased, more merchandise collected...hell, maybe a new line of marketing dreadlocks... But what Manny also was to bring was a lot of the fans on the fence BACK. The Giants have had 4 consecutive losing seasons and never in the history of the franchise have they lost 5. Not even in New York. Some fans are debating how to spend their hard few earned dollars in this piss poor economy and most everyone has less disposable cash to part with. The Giants are facing the probability that many loyal and devoted fans simply cannot afford to come to the ball park this year and not having a Manny Ramirez in the lineup is one more reason to stay away.

Some hard desicions are going to have to be made this year by many people and certainly the Giants will have a few. Here's hoping they start the season off on the right foot and find away to make an improvement trade versus a trade to save money because no one will show at the park.

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