Someone send Red Sox Nation a memo, they might want to get all of their “Ramirez 24″ memorabilia ready for a bonfire. If word from the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS’ Mark Feinsand carries any credibility, former Boston all-everything outfielder Manny Ramirez is confidently telling friends that the Yankees will offer him a deal of at least three years, a marriage that would surpass the Johnny Damon defection in the pantheon of the greatest Judas moves in sports history.
(Soon to be a hated mural in Boston.)
Here’s the straight shot from Feinsand’s story — the latest in a string he’s been out in front on — as directly as you can get it:
“Manny Ramirez has told friends that he is confident the Yankees will offer him a contract of at least three years.”
Sure, Ramirez has a long way to go before he’s actually playing for the Yankees. After all, New York has yet to offer him a contract, let alone negotiate over whether he has to shave his dreadlocks, speak to the media or re-attend public high school in the Bronx to prove that he does, in fact, have an education above the fourth-grade level.
That being said, Manny being Manny in New Yankee Stadium makes a lot of sense, for plenty of reasons: 1) the Yankees are one of the only teams with the money to sign the slugger. 2) The Dodgers are holding on to their initial offer which isn’t close to what Ramirez wants. The Angels already have a glut of outfielders, and they just added another in Juan Rivera. The Phillies already signed their Pat Burrell replacement. 3) The Yankees could actually use another outfielder, particularly since they seem to finally realize that the “Melky Cabrera is ready to be an everyday star” age was full of folly, and 4) Signing Manny would be the ultimate way to stick it to the Red Sox, inking the MVP of their first world series title in 86 years right after Boston expelled him from Fenway’s magical kingdom.
In fact, there really don’t seem to be any other options for Ramirez out there, at least at the moment. If the Angels miss out on Mark Teixeira, they could try to sign Ramirez as a desperate response. Still, that seems like a move made out of, predictably, desperation, and one that owner Arte Moreno appears less and less likely to consider. Before the offseason started, a number of writers and analysts had pegged Baltimore as a likely Ramirez landing spot, but notoriously stingy Orioles owner Peter Angelos has consistently said he’s not interested. The Nationals? Please. Everyone’s still questioning whether they’re really serious about a huge bid for Teixeira.
So start fanning the bonfire flames, Red Sox fans. At least it’s the right season for a fire, and we hear there’s still plenty of left over Manny merchandise you can pick up for cheap at the Yawkey Way Store. Go get it while it’s on clearance; it’ll be burned to a crisp soon.