Gotta weigh in on the latest cosmic Manny thing. For those who haven't seen this morning's headlines, the Dodgers offered a one-year, $25 M contract, and Ramirez rejected it. As Grant writes, it now looks like a two-year contract could do the trick, which starts to wear down one's anti-Manny resolve. As I wrote a month ago, there's a certain threshold of Manny affordability that puts the youth movement on the back burner for a spell. You don't stubbornly stand by Nate Schierholtz, whom most scouts see as a fourth OF and most stats project as a moderately useful bat (see here for four projections), when one of the top-five hitters of the decade becomes ridiculously available on a short-term basis. How ridiculous? How short-term? If I told you I'd have to put you in the comfy chair. You don't want that.
Interrupting our reverie is Ken Rosenthal's cautionary tale, which we've heard before but comes into sharper focus: An underpaid Manny might be an unhappy Manny, and on the Giants he might never see a strike with Bengie Molina or Fred Lewis or Pablo Sandoval hitting behind him.
Which begs this question: With enough leverage, could a team add anti-pouting clauses or incentives to prevent a Manny meltdown? One thought: performance bonuses based on the team's post-season appearance, or Manny's post-season performance (ie, $1 M for NLDS MVP, $2 M for NLCS MVP, etc.)
For crissakes I hope he signs somewhere soon so I can get back to writing about the competition for the last bullpen spot: Yabu-Taschner! Fracas Among the Cactus!