After being up for 2 weeks and garnishing 53 votes, it has become evident that the majority of Jays fans, 30 of 53 voters for a total of 57%, have a real issue with giving Manny Ramirez a spot in the lineup and oodles of money for the 2011 season.The concerns are evident to all who know anything about Manny. Clubhouse issues, performance issues, personality issues, and positional issues have all become part of “Manny being Manny”, and also sadly of “Many Fans Disliking Manny”. There’s no surprise here at all as Manny seems to have a splitting effect when it comes to most opinions.
It’s interesting to me that in this case, as opposed to the JP Ricciardi spending spree of the last decade when he brought names like Frank Thomas, BJ Ryan, and AJ Burnett on board, fans seem more willing to play it slow, cautious, and to remain young in the process of building a winner. An impatient fan who wants to see the Jays in the World Series in 2011 may believe that Manny alone could provide what the Jays lacked in 2010. But, as most know and as most witnessed this year with the great TEAM wins brought forth by the SF Giants throughout the playoffs, it takes a lot more than 1 player to make such an impact and most of all, it takes a lot of cohesion in the club house to keep the team together throughout the pressure cooker that is the MLB season and playoffs once September comes around.
A total of 23 voters, or a respectable 43%, voted yes to the question “Should the Jays sign Manny Ramirez to a 1 yr deal as a full time DH?”, indicating that some fans do believe Manny deserves a shot with the Jays. I don’t blame them one bit, as Manny is one of a few spectacular hitters who can really take a team on his shoulders offensively, when he wants to, and to take them to the next level. The performance he put on for the Dodgers in 2009 left many people wondering where that kind of performance was in his last season with the Red Sox. That doesn’t mean he can replicate anything close to that with the Jays or another team in 2011, or that he’s “want” to.
The truth of it all is that Manny does what Manny wants for Manny alone. He doesn’t care how people view him or whether they remember him as a Red Sox, Indian, or Jay. He does love baseball and hitting in particular, but he has a way of getting under many people’s skin. Can the Jays really trust a young and impressionable team to not fall victim to his rhetoric? I doubt it. He commands so much of the spotlight and is so willing to attract attention at all costs that the Jays would surely be dealing with his theatrics on a regular basis.
For all of the reasons listed above, I can’t see the Jays giving him much attention as they build their 2011 squad and wil be very surprised to see them pick him up as a FA. Would I love to see Manny doing what he did for the Dodgers and bringing the Jays to the playoffs? Sure I would, but I fully believe that he would have a hard time doing so with a full healthy season and do believe that the Jays can do better for the same money that he’d cost them. If the Jays want to win for a long time to come, they need to build a powerful nucleus that learn to win together, not to go buy an outlier that will disturb what good they have in-house. At least that’s my take on it and is the reason I do not believe Manny will be a Jay in 2011.