SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Is Manny Ramirez a Flirt?

My dad once remarked that "you can be the prettiest girl on the block, but you can only go to the dance with one guy." I came to think of that remark when thinking about Manny Ramirez, who just turned down a 1-year, $25 million offer from the Dodgers. (ESPN's Jayson Stark reports that Ramirez and his agent, Scott Boras, are still looking for a 4-year, $100 million package).

Manny is a great hitter, one of the best ever. Yet, the Mets and Angels, among many others, have said they won't pursue him. The Giants don't look like they'll be able to afford him, so who is out there who will offer him a better deal?

Yes, the market for free agents is bad because the economy is bad. Teams are looking hard at their payrolls, and with the exception of the free-spending Yankees most teams have tried to be prudent in handing out long-term deals. Manny's a risk for a long-term deal because of the stunts he pulled in Boston, including some ignominious ones during his final days there. Boras has been very successful as an agent, but is Manny listening to his advice? Is there a potential taker out there for the deal they hope to achieve, and, if so, who?

Because if Manny Ramirez isn't signed by the start of spring training, he'll end up like the prettiest girl on the block who was always looking for a better suitor.

Only to find that the dance started and finished without her.

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