Tag Archives: manny ramirez

The Gift Basket Contents of Major Leaguers, Past and Present

Yankees star Derek Jeter, one of New York’s most eligible hunks since his split with longtime gal pal Minka Kelly, is bedding a bevy of beauties in his Trump World Towerbachelor pad — and then coldly sending them home alone with gift baskets of autographed memorabilia.

The Yankees captain’s wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am kiss-offs came to light when he mistakenly pulled the stunt twice on the same woman — forgetting she had been an earlier conquest, a pal told The Post. – NY Post, 12/13/11

ALEX RODRIGUEZ: small picnic basket filled with plush centaurs

STEVE GARVEY: a bad check and a lecture on fiscal responsibility

JOHN KRUK: three jars of his own homemade pomade/gravy

DAVID WELLS: A case of Natty Lite, a convenience store display of Slim Jims, and a gift card to Bass Pro Shops

CJ WILSON: Youth of Today compilation, large bottle of Dr. Bronner’s soap

DARREN DAULTON: step-by-step instructions on how to see into the secret, alien 7th dimension

JEFF KENT: a bag of Hall’s cough drops that happened to be left in the front seat of his car

OLD HOSS RADBOURN: tincture of laudanum, bone chilling stare on your way out of the hotel room

CURT SCHILLING: two-months of free gametime on World of Warcraft

JAMIE MOYER: hand-whittled doorstops–lady’s choice of duck or bear

ROGER MCDOWELL: can of “peanut brittle,” trick gum, pair of Bill Robinson’s cleats charred in successful hotfoot attempt

LUKE SCOTT: detailed manifesto on how the Illuminati and the Swiss bankers’ cabal are keeping evidence of Obama’s Indonesian citizenship from the American public

MANNY RAMIREZ: five pairs of tent-sized pants, several women’s hormone supplements

MIKE PIAZZA: Rush Limbaugh book-on-tape set, complete Cannibal Corpse discography

BABE RUTH: syphilis

Manny Being Test Case

Manny Ramirez retired over the weekend. This in and of itself is pretty noteworthy to me, since Manny is among many players whose monumental debuts and stratospheric heydays I remember. So to me, Manny hanging up his spikes serves as another signal of the relentless march of time. Baseball!

Of course, Manny’s retirement is made even bigger by the fact that he did so to avoid a second suspension for PED use. The immediate reaction among most fans and writers was that this was an intensely stupid thing to do, and that retiring instead of taking his medicine (ahem) was a chump’s exit, both of which I agree with to an extent.

Many also feel Manny’s legacy is irreparably tainted, and that this means no Hall of Fame for him. This may be true, considering the generally old-school views of HOF voters, but probably shouldn’t be.

Sooner or later, somebody who either tested positive for PEDs or admitted to using them is going to get into the Hall of Fame. Maybe Andy Pettitte. Maybe Alex Rodriguez. Maybe Mark McGwire. It will happen, and once it does, it’s going to be virtually impossible to argue that some PED users are more guilty than others. To do so requires verbal and logical gymnastics that no one is mentally limber enough to perform.

Case in point: The Manny news prompted Bill Simmons to tweet, “How roided up was Manny during his crazy ’08 Dodgers run? Had to be on par with Ivan Drago or Arnold in Predator, right?” Maybe, but who’s to say he wasn’t just as “roided up” when he played for Boston? Simmons (who is a Red Sox fan; I’m not sure if everyone’s aware of that) is assigning a blemish to Manny’s time with the Dodgers, while implicitly saying that Manny’s years with his own favorite team are untainted.

We’ve already seen Hall of Fame voters do essentially the same thing. The matter of Barry Bonds getting into Cooperstown is seen as so beyond the pale, it isn’t even discussed. But when Andy Pettitte retired, his chances to get into the Hall were soberly discussed, with his use of HGH mentioned only in passing, if at all.

It may seem ridiculous to put Pettitte and Bonds in the same sentence when it comes to PEDs. But is it, really? They both have the same level of “guilt,” which is being named in the Mitchell Report. Neither ever failed a drug test. There are a few differences, of course. Pettitte publicly admitted to using PEDs (after being caught), whereas Bonds never has. The other big difference is that Pettitte is well liked, and Bonds is a horrible human being. But if we’re going to keep terrible people out of the Hall of Fame, we’d have to retroactively kick out some of the best players ever (Ty Cobb being one huge, racist example).

And if we’re going to keep every “steroid cheat,” real or imagined, out of Cooperstown, we’re going to have some very lean Hall of Fame classes in the years to come. In the last HOF vote, Jeff Bagwell just missed out on induction in his first year of eligibility, despite some Hall-worthy stats, because there have been whispered accusations of PED use about him. He’s never been seriously accused, never failed a drug test, was not named in the Mitchell Report, and yet the vague notion that he may have done something at some point in his career was enough to keep certain voters from selecting him. How is this kind of lunatic reasoning better for baseball than possibly letting in a “cheater”?

The current sanctimony on the part of writers is a far cry from how steroids were discussed at the height of their use. While working on The 1999 Project and In The Year 2000 the last few years, I’ve pored over hundreds of articles written about baseball during those two seasons. You know how many times those articles mentioned PEDs? Zero. Not once. At the absolute zenith of steroid use in baseball, no one in the press was talking about it. In fact, when Steve Wilstein noted the unpleasant fact that Mark McGwire kept androstenedione in his locker during that “magical summer” of 1998, he was roundly criticized–most loudly by his fellow reporters.

The retroactive outrage was spurred in large part by Jose Canseco’s tell-all tome, but Barry Bonds was a huge factor as well. It wasn’t until Bonds, a player everyone outside of San Francisco hated, “threatened” sacred home run records that writers got concerned. In order to take steroids seriously, reporters needed to find a target who they enjoyed digging up dirt on, and who the public would enjoy seeing torn down. Then, for good measure, they ripped McGwire for being a “cheat” to atone for enabling him years earlier.

If you want to keep all PED users out of Cooperstown, I don’t agree with that stance, but I understand it. I find that point of view much more acceptable than the Animal Farm route, where some PED use is more equal than others. Jumping through hoops to explain why a certain player’s “cheating” is more acceptable than another’s is just shorthand for I LIKE THIS GUY BETTER THAN THAT GUY. And if that’s how you want to play the Hall of Fame Voting Game, just own it, rather than trying to justify it through flowcharts and moral calculus.

Sean from Massapequa: Ollie and Manny, Together Again for the First Time

I often write about the Mets on this site, but I realize that my perspective is not necessarily that of the average fan. So as the Hot Stove League heats up, I want to get the viewpoint of another Amazins enthusiast. Today Scratchbomb welcomes back Sean from Massapequa, a union pipefitter and frequent WFAN caller, to discuss the Mets’ latest free agent recruits.

seanfrommassapequa.jpgNow that Derek Lowe has gone to the Braves, it seems the Mets have their sights on reacquiring Oliver Perez.

Yes, and I have my sight set on constructing an incendiary advice to hurl at CitiField. This team drives me nuts, chasin after bums like Oliver Perez. Sick to my stomach just thinkin about it.

Who do you think they should sign instead, Ben Sheets?

Sign somebody, sign anybody! I’m sick to death of no news! Checkin the papers, listening to Francesa, day after day, nothin! It’s January and I got snow pilin up in my driveway and my Chevy won’t start and I got my wife bustin my hump about fixin up the dining room. I need some baseball news, goddammit, or I swear to god I’m goin postal! Again.

I don’t think the Mets should sign a pitcher indiscriminately just because you’re having a tough time.

Buddy, a tough time is like “Wah, I stubbed my toe, I’m havin a bad hair day!” What I’m goin through right now is Normandy. My boss is workin my last nerve, the boiler’s actin up again, and Jesus Christ, you shoulda seen the piece a work my oldest brought home the other day. This guy looked like a reject from Tool Academy. Wore sunglasses indoors, at night, in January. Enough gel in his hair to kill a horse. God, I wanted to smack this mook so hard. Smack him right in the brain…

So you don’t care who the Mets as long as they sign somebody, but you don’t want them to sign Oliver Perez.

At this point, I’d love it if they signed Ollie, because then at least I’d have somethin else to piss me off and break up the monotony. I ain’t had nothin to get real mad at since a coupla weeks ago, when I threw a brick at some Eagles fan in the Giants Stadium parking lot.

A brick of what?

A brick of brick, what else? How else do you expect me the break the guy’s jaw?

Wow. How are you not in jail?

The guy was wearin a McNabb jersey just minutes after they eliminated Big Blue from the playoffs. The balls on that prick! Even if I’da gotten caught, no jury in the country woulda convicted me.

I’m kind of afraid to ask this, but what do you think of Manny Ramirez? There seem to be a lot of fans who want him on the team, but the front office hasn’t given any indication that they’re going to pursue him. Where do you stand on the issue?

Wilpons, Omar, get this man on this team! He means the difference between a World Series title and me hunting you down for sport!

I’m surprised. I didn’t think you’d be pro-Manny.

Why not? The man is an RBI machine. A machine!

Sure, of course, I just…he doesn’t seem like your kind of player.

What do you mean, the clubhouse stuff? Everyone says he’s no good in the clubhouse, but that didn’t mean too much when he was winnin in Cleveland and Boston and LA.

No, I meant…well, every time I talk to you, you yell at the Mets for pursuing certain types of players.

Yeah, bums. They’re always goin after bums and stiffs cuz they’re cheap, when they should be goin after the big fish like Manny.

Okay, it’s just that every other time I’ve talked to you, you’ve accused the Mets of only signing Hispanic players.

What?! I never said that!

Maybe you’ve never said those exact words, but you’ve implied it heavily.

I’m really hurt! You make me sound like some kinda racist or somethin!

Maybe I misinterpreted what you said. If so, I apologize. That was unfair of me.

Now, if Omar turns around and signs Pedro again, you’ll know it’s just cuz he’s lookin out for his fellow you-know-whats.

Very nice. Thanks for completely confirming my earlier suspicions about you.

Don’t mention it.

Jeff Loria and the Art of the Deal

theo.jpgSo it looks like we’re all set, Mr. Beinfest. You guys get
Manny Ramirez, the Pirates get Jeremy Hermida, and we get Jason Bay. Manny’s
already approved a trade, and we’ve submitted the offer to the league office for
approval. So there isn’t a single logistical obstacle to making this deal a
beinfest.jpgYou know, Theo, for a three-way trade, this agreement has
come together in surprisingly easy fashion. I mean, you hear rumors about
three-way trades every year and they almost never come to fruition because the
particulars are just too darn complicated. It’s amazing that this one is about
to go off without a hitch.
theo.jpgI know, isn’t it?

beinfest.jpgRight now, it seems that there’s nothing at all that could
prevent this trade from being completed. All I need to do is press my official
general manager’s APPROVE TRADE button.

theo.jpgBy all means, do so.

beinfest.jpgI thoroughly intend to. My index finger hovers over said
button as we speak. I merely need to lower that finger and depress the button in
order to consummate our agreement.

theo.jpgI eagerly await that action.
beinfest.jpgLet’s see. I am lowering my index finger. My index finger is
now on the button. I’m about to apply some pressure and activate the

loria.jpg* kicks down office door *
Hold on there, Larry! This is my
money we’re talking about! I’m not jumping at the first future Hall of Famer I
see! You gotta know how to negotiate, kid!

beinfest.jpgBut we did negotiate, Mr. Loria, and I feel that this offer
is more than fair.
loria.jpgKid, a true businessman doesn’t want fair deal. He wants
totally unfair deal. You wanna totally humiliate the other guy.

beinfest.jpgThat sounds like the exact opposite of what you’d want to do to someone you’d like to do business with again.

loria.jpgYou got a lot to learn, kid. I’ll take this one home. You go and scrub them used baseballs so we have them ready for tonight’s game.

beinfest.jpg* sigh *

/leaves office

loria.jpgSo, Mr. Epstein, you’re offering…who is it again?

theo.jpgManny Ramirez.

loria.jpgUh huh. I’m not familiar with that model.

theo.jpgHe’s one of the best hitters of his generation.

loria.jpgBest hitter of his generation? Okay, that’s nice. Lemme look at my blue book…oh, says here he’s knocked in at least a hundred runs 11 of the last 13 years. I guess that’s okay. Of course, I can’t make a decision before taking him for a test drive.

theo.jpgHe’s a player, not a car. His body of work should speak for itself.

loria.jpgDo you know what I do for a living, Mr. Epstein? I’m an art dealer! I deal with the best arts in the world! You know who has the world’s largest collection of original Trapper Keeper prints? Me, that’s who! So I think I know a little something about working out a deal!

theo.jpgDo you actually want to work out a deal? Because it sounds like you have no interest in negotiating seriously.

loria.jpgI guess if you’re looking to unload this Manfred Dominguez person, I could take him off your hands. But if I’m giving up a can’t miss, sure thing like Jeremy Hermida, I have to get some financial compensation in return.

theo.jpgWe’ve already agreed to pay the remainder of Manny’s salary.

loria.jpgAs well I would expect. I mean additional considerations. Say, two million dollars or so of additional considerations.

theo.jpgSo let me get this straight. We’re handing you Manny Ramirez for virtually nothing. Because you’re trading another player and we’re paying Manny’s salary, you would actually make money on the deal.

loria.jpgAccording to my calculations, yes.

theo.jpgAnd even though you get tens of millions of dollars from revenue sharing every year, you refuse to spend any of that money on keeping players in Florida. You’ve traded away every single good player your team ever developed because you refused to give them salary arbitration. And yet, you want me to give you two million dollars on top of everything else.

loria.jpgThat would be nice.

theo.jpgAnd just to refresh my memory, you’re the douchebag who completely destroyed the Expos.

loria.jpgThe very same!

theo.jpgThanks, I think I’ve heard enough.

loria.jpgHe’ll come crawling back. They always do. Except for those times when, you know, they don’t.