Hey, remember when I wanted the Tribe to sign Manny?
Which brings me to Manny Ramirez. Manny can’t go back to the Red Sox, the Yankees may be done spending for now, the Angels have said no, the Mets don’t want him and if was going to be a Dodger, it probably would’ve happened by now.
So my questions is this: why shouldn’t the Tribe throw a lot of cash at him?
Even if they gave him $20 million a year for the next 3-4 years, would it really kill them that much?
First of all, imagine how much excitement the signing would generate and how that buzz could translate into ticket sales/merchandise etc. Bringing Manny back would be a PR bonanza (we’re playing to win now).
Finally, he’s familiar here. Ramirez actually liked Cleveland (what can I say, Manny is weird) and if no one else scoops him up, it’s possible he could be persuaded to come back to his first franchise, no?
Wouldn’t he be a good fit here? The fans know him, he’d be good PR, he’d be great baseball-wise and clubhouse-wise (winner, big game player, doesn’t feel the pressure).
Well, I wasn’t the only one thinking that way:
“I would like to play for Cleveland one more time, to go back where I started,” said Ramirez, with the Dodgers playing their home opener Monday against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium. “I have so many good memories there, why not?
“I think to go back where you started is everyone’s dream.”
Ramirez, 37, who spent the first 10 years of his career in the Indians organization, shared his sentiments this spring with Chicago White Sox DH Jim Thome. They were teammates in Cleveland from 1993 to 2000, but each departed when the Indians were outbid in free agency. Ramirez left after the 2000 season for an eight-year, $160 million contract with the Boston Red Sox. Thome signed a six-year, $85 million contract after the 2002 season with the Philadelphia Phillies and, after a 2005 trade, is in his final year with the White Sox.
Thome and Ramirez each might be eligible for free agency this winter if Ramirez opts out of his two-year contract. And if they become free agents, Ramirez told Thome, they should both consider returning to Cleveland.
“Manny was very sincere when he brought that up to me,” Thome said. “Manny was saying how special that would be for us to both go back together. He was very passionate. Baseball’s such a weird thing. You never know what’s going to happen.”
If Ken Griffey Jr. can return to the Seattle Mariners, Ramirez says, he and Thome could make a last stop in Cleveland before their careers end.
“Me and Thome back in Cleveland?” Ramirez said. “That would be sweet.
“I love L.A. I really do. But the way the city responded to me, it reminded me a lot of how it was in Cleveland.”
The thing is, ya, these guys are on their last legs, but they’re still productive players (both had 30+ HR last year) and the Tribe could actually use a power hitting DH and corner OF. Depending on the price they take, this would be a huge boost PR wise (the city practically shit itself when they picked up Kenny Lofton in 2007).
Plus, both guys could be chasing some very pretty numbers. Right now Manny is at 527 homers and Thome is at 543, it would be conceivable that both of these guys could be going for 600 homers next season.
Seriously, tell me that watching Manny and Thome hit their 600th in an Indians uniform wouldn’t give you chills. Chills I say! (and again, I can’t stress this enough, this team could use some veteran power hitters).
(Meanwhile, Travis Hafner has 3 HR already. I’ll be really pissed if he actually returns to form only to have the Tribe lose a bunch of 8-7 games).