'I Was Born a Free Agent Under Unusual Circumstances'
And so begins "The Curious Case of Manny Ramirez," adapted from the 2008 strategy by F. Scott Boras about a Manny whose price started out at $100 million and spirals backwards: A Manny, like any of us, who is unable to stop the telling of the truth. We follow his story set in Boston from the end of the road trip where he wouldn't get on the bus, following his watching the strikes thrown by Rivera, to sitting out a costly game against the Yankees, a journey that is as distasteful as any man’s move can be. Directed by Tom Werner and starring Terrance Howard and Jessica Alba with Taraji P. Henson, Tilda Swinton, Jason Flemyng, Elias Koteas and Julia Ormond, "Manny Ramirez," is a grand tale of a not so ordinary free agent and the people and places he destroyed along the way, the loves he lost, the joys of eating sushi anonymously on a public restaurant couch, and the sadness of the realization of what he has to settle for now, and what he did to Boston lasts beyond time.
Buster Olney calls it...: "Thanks to his [Manny] ugly finish in Boston, he has placed himself in a less-than-ideal situation. He generated a historic performance in his last two months of the regular season and followed that up by hitting .520 in the postseason. But he's telling friends that he's concerned about the lack of big-money interest. It is evident that during a winter when many teams have clamped down and watched their dollars more carefully, executives with many teams have decided they cannot trust Ramirez on a multiyear deal."
Buster Olney, ESPN, 12.31.08: "The prices for corner outfielders have plummeted, and Ramirez seems to have no other suitors who could talk dollars anywhere near the level of what the Dodgers can offer. This winter, a $10 million salary is a very good offer for a corner outfielder, and although the Dodgers initially offered a two-year, $45 million deal to Ramirez back in November, a reduction in their proposal would fall in line with everything that's going on in the current market. Giving Ramirez a three-year deal would be like overpaying by 50 percent in the shriveled real estate market."
Those Were the Days When the Price of Gas Was High...
Scott Boras, Nov. 12, 2008: "On behalf of Manny Ramirez, we will, for the first time, begin accepting serious financial offers on Friday."
"The actress, who hails from Watertown originally, was surrounded by dozens of family and friends, including new beau Brent Bolthouse, the LA-based nightclub owner and impresario who's appeared on 'The Hills.' (Dushku formerly dated Dodgers pitcher Brad Penny, who may well wind up signing with the actress's beloved Red Sox." -- 12.29.08, Boston Globe, Names
"... Boston Dirt Dogs took its usual stance - after fawning over Teixeira a week ago, their "Yankee Flipper" story featured several snappy one-liners, including "Bronx Bumblers Overpay for Overrated First Baseman, DH-Type." This from a site that a week ago asked, "Is There a Portuguese Prince on the Horizon in Boston?" and reminded the loyal legions "It's Pronounced Tei-SHAIR-ah ... But Boston Will End Up Calling Him Tex." They'll probably be calling him something else now." -- 12.26.08, NY Daily News taking a shot
'Twas the night before Christmas, when throughout Red Sox Nation,
Finger pointing and frustration with the whole Teixeira situation
Our Red Stockings were hung by Scott Boras, it’s clear
We were sure his prized free agent would land here
Manny being nestled all snug in his bed,
While a text from Millar said his market was dead
And there’s Larry Lucchino with his Hanging Sox cap,
He just signed an agreement to sell them all at The Gap
When out on the ‘Net there arose such a clatter,
Another Deal Done?… Now whose wallet got fatter?
We turned on the radio, there must be a news flash,
Picked up a newspaper, but saw the same old re-hash;
Who’s breaking this story? Who’s got the source in the know?
Is this D-Lowe’s big payday? Did the Yankees fork over more dough?
When, what to our wondering eyes on TV should appear
But the face of old Manny, looking for $30 million per year!
With a little escape clause, so clever and slick,
I knew in a moment, it was the old Boras trick
More rapid than flying on John Henry's plane,
Boras whistled, and shouted, played his usual game:
"Now, Heyman! now, Ravech! now, Olney and Gammo!
On, Rosenthal! Cafardo! on, Impacto Deportivo!
Manny’s got 3 offers! It takes 5 years to play ball!
So write up a story, call me 'a source,' that’s all!"
Players still flock to Boras, contract price will be high,
He plays games with the numbers, he still tells the big lie,
So it's back to the phones, 'cause he's gotta move Manny,
Plus a sleigh full of so many players, it’s uncanny
Yankees titles really stand at 22 not 26*,
And Giambino’s 2 fake bombs off Pedro in ’03 makes us sick
$423.5 million Hal says it's just money well spent
There’s not a business on earth this crooked, this bent
The 2009 members of the “official” Red Sox Nation,
Will keep throwing hard cash to Tom Werner's booming operation
They’ll pay 200 large for jerseys in red and blue
Pink hats will be next for the players, print it, it’s true
But then down in Fort Myers, he strolled out on the field,
With fancy sunglasses on, watching re-runs of The Shield
He had hair like Bob Marley, the fans started to scream,
He smiled just like Manny, was this an impossible dream?
He spoke slightly Spanish, and went straight to his work,
Lumbered into the cage; he worked on a quirk,
Then he turned on a ball, his arms coming around,
The loud crack of the bat, the ball took off with a bound;
It was our friend Manny! Only one bat is that quick,
Balls crushed one by one, he still swings the big stick
He was signed for 3 years, Henry finally had to bite
Jack McCormick thinks he’ll hit a home run every night!
And there stood Josh Beckett, looking fit and trim
The big game hunter found his way to the gym
J-Bay showed up early and was ready to play
’Tek was lousy last year, but came back anyway
And then just like before, Papi watched the ball fly,
MVP grinded away, One-Year-Youk hit line drives,
With Jacoby in center, And Lowrie at short,
They're fine up the middle, still need run support
J.D. had the old stroke back, when he hit ‘em they flew,
They all batted around, Varitek too;
The crowd sprang to their feet, to the team gave a whistle,
Lowell circled the bases, Lester threw another missile;
A new year is upon us and our Olde Towne ballclub
"WHO NEEDS TEIXEIRA? PENNANT FEVER STILL GRIPS HUB!"
...with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore or Henry Livingston, Jr. Merry Christmas, Boston Dirt Dogs
Tony Massarotti: "Please, no whining, crying, kvetching or moaning. The Red Sox had their chance. They have the money. They ultimately lost Mark Teixeira to the Yankees for maybe $1-$2 million a year, roughly 1 percent of their 2008 payroll... Whatever the case, the Red Sox now have to deal with the reality that the Yankees are very much back in business in the American League East and that the Sox currently might be nothing more than a third-place team."
Sports Illustrated: "The Yankees are on the verge of signing Mark Teixeira, SI.com has learned, beating out the rival Red Sox for the free-agent slugger's services.Teixeira, who hit .308 with 33 home runs and 121 RBIs in 2008, will receive an eight-year, $180 million deal from the Yankees with a full no-trade provision."
Bill Madden, Daily News: "If you've followed all the lies and chutzpah of Scott Boras through the years, then you pretty much know what's going on with these endless Mark Teixeira negotiations. As always with the Avenging Agent, he's going to drag this saga out as long as he can (Christmas? New Year's? Easter?), in hopes of finally wearing out one gullible suitor and yielding every last penny."
More from Gammo on the Dead Market for 'Tek, Bowden, Bard, Baldelli, and More
WCVB-TV Channel 5's Mike Lynch reported that Red Sox owner John Henry, team president Larry Lucchino, and GM Theo Epstein were in Texas tonight to meet with Teixeira's agent, Scott Boras, in an attempt to finish a deal for the free-agent first baseman. According to Lynch, who cited unnamed sources, the Sox were offering an eight-year, $184 million contract (average annual value is $23 million) and are hopeful they can wrap up a deal tonight or tomorrow.
Bill Reynolds, Providence Journal: "... there’s something disgusting about all this, the fact it’s so public, the fact it’s all over the news, the fact that it’s covered with such importance, the fact it’s all but held baseball fans hostage, the fact it’s dragged out, the fact that he’s become the new poster child for excess in a time of national crisis. For I am waiting for Mark Teixeira and I want to take a shower."
BDD has learned through a source familiar with the thinking of Dr. Evil that an offer will be extended to overrated first baseman DH-type Mark 'Babe Ruth' Teixeira for the sum of $1 billion... Developing...
File Under: Mike Dee Must Have Conducted His Survey in a Phone Booth on Yawkey Way...
“Red Sox Nation speaks loudly on these kind of issues. We wanted to make sure the fans had input and overwhelmingly support behind the the Hanging Sox as our primary logo, such an iconic representation of our brand was their primary and first choice... The early response has been terrific." -- 12.11.08, Red Sox COO Mike Dee at GameOn!... with a straight face
Lucchino Calls the Hat Fiasco a Big Misunderstanding... You Won't Have to See Them Worn Up to 99% of the Time... But Says Pitchers Might Pop Them On for Good Luck
“Some of the survey's we've seen have been 55-60 percent like it, and 40 percent don't like it overall, but no, you're never going to please everyone anytime you make a change, there's going to be some resistance to it. The alternate uniforms are used very infrequently. The red and the blue. But they're kind of a nice change of pace. Fans will see those a handful of times each season.
"The biggest misunderstanding has to do with the hat. There's a new hat with the Hanging Sox. That is an alternate hat. That is not replacing the traditional Red Sox B hat. There was some misunderstanding about that. But we will be wearing the traditional Red Sox B hat, I would say 95-99 percent of the time next year and the other hat will be worn time to time should a pitcher want to try it sometimes to break his luck, or something like that. There may be some of that. But by and large, and the logo was kind of fine tuned... I think the Hanging Sox, we're kind of lucky to have the Hanging Sox, there are very few organizations that can be identified without any words. There's the Nike swooosh. There's... the golden arches of McDonalds and the Hanging Sox of the Red Sox. No letters, no words, no nothing. Just a symbol." -- 12.13.08, Red Sox President and CEO Larry Lucchino at Christmas at Fenway on sports radio WEEI
(BDD Photo Illustration / Joshua Coles)
What Didn't Happen in Vegas, Comes to Boston While the Yankees Continue to Mean Business on the Free Agent Front, The Sox Continue to Make Headway in the Garment Industry Theo Keeps Lugo, But Gets New Logo
Larry Lucchino on WEEI's Dennis and Callahan show: "There's an adjustment to the road uniform that will touch upon sort of Red Sox tradition. It's a little back to the future kind of thing. And they'll be some adjustments to the logo as well, so both items are going to be announced [tonight] at a sort of a semi-press conference, semi-fashion show..."
"We’re not the Red Sox,” Cashman said, a reference to the team’s use of owner John Henry’s private plane during negotiations with Daisuke Matsuzaka two years ago. “They certainly are not, thank goodness!” Red Sox president Larry Lucchino responded in an e-mail to the AP. -- 12.11.08, Boston Herald
Country First Curt Is Throwing Heat for the Troops Overseas
Former Sox ace turned media personality Curt Schilling is spending time with our troops as part of a week-long USO tour to the Persian Gulf. Taking the mound to extend America’s well wishes, Schilling will visit and shake hands with troops, sign autographs and pose for pictures.
"...Included are authentic Fenway Park bricks and signage along with other items such as game-worn paraphernalia, game programs and other miscellaneous items. One perk of attending the yard sale is that those fans will be given a unique online code that will guarantee them the ability to purchase tickets for the 2009 season online..." -- 12.02.08, RedSox.com
Curt Schilling Will Become a Member of the Media Before Mo Gets a Whiff of the Hall... Hey, Wait a Minute...
BDD: What about a stint in the media, NESN analyst, a la Dennis Eckersley, Baseball Tonight commentator, etc.? Schilling: Absolutely zero chance of this ever happening, less than zero actually. -- 7.9.07, Schilling to BDD