Thursday, December 11, 2008


OK, stop laughing. Seriously, stop it. I am going to make a case for signing him. It isn't that difficult.

First, Manny has played in a small market and loved it. When in Cleveland, he enjoyed being away form the spotlight. The constant attention in Boston was something he never got used to and eventually got to him. In LA, he thrived because of the laid back atmosphere. The Cincinnati media would love him and he would be allowed to do his goofy things without scorn. The team would love it, the fans would love it, and the media would love it. He fills our exact need would be a hero here.

Second, he would be energized playing with all the young Latins on the team. Manny and David Ortiz were best friends in Boston. This came out of both of them being Dominican. The Reds have great young Dominicans in Encarnacion, Volquez and Cueto as well as an old veteran in Cordero. Being around these young guys would get him excited and when Manny is happy, he is one of the best players in the league. Of course, when not happy he is still in the top 10.

Third, we can afford him. According to John Fay's math here, the Reds will probably spend $16 million more this year. Giving Manny $22 million per year for 4 years would be enough to get him here. That is only a $6 million increase over what they planned on spending. That $6 million would easily be made up in season ticket sales and merchandise sales very quickly. This would sure up LF meaning we give Hariston the few million we were going to give him anyway to play center and call it a day.

Fourth, it would show the league the Reds are serious about winning. Free agents would see this as a step to win games now and want to come here. It would change the perception from a continual loser to an up and comer who isn't afraid to take a risk if it helps the team. Much like the Brewers did last year and were rewarded with a playoff trip.

Here would be the lineup with the Manny and Hairston signing:

CF Hairston
2B Phillips
1B Votto
LF Ramirez
RF Bruce
3B Encanacion
SS Gonzalez (or Keppinger)
C Hernandez
P (Harang, Volquez, Cueto, Arroyo, and Bailey/Owings/Thompson)

That is a team that can compete from top to bottom. It has a strong lineup with tons of power 2-6. Our pitching consists of 2 very good and 2 above average starters with a young pitcher with great upside in the 5 hole. The bullpen is nearly the same as the one who finished with a 3.81 ERA.

Manny is just sitting at home right now. Bob claims he wants to build a winner. Here is the chance. Pick up the phone and get Manny here.

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