… Aaaaaand the Letdown

Gordon Edes, probably the Boston press’ most credible writer — and the one who seemed most certain entering the off-season that Manny Ramirez would be traded — reads the tea leaves of an XM Radio chat between him and Terry Francona and says Manny will stay put.

"I don’t see it happening,” Francona said when asked about the likelihood of a deal. "Everyone hears the whispers. I don’t think it’s any big secret that there are times of the year that he feels Boston is closing in on him.

"But he still shows up to play. You put that bat behind David [Ortiz], that’s when we’re rolling. That’s the biggest part of the devastation of our lineup. Rather than doing something different, you have to swallow, turn your head, take a deep breath. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty good. We all have warts, we’re not perfect.”

That’s a definitive statement as to where the Manny talks stand after two days here in the winter meetings. The Dodgers haven’t talked to the Sox since yesterday, and one Sox source dismissed all the talk about three-way deals involving the Nationals with the (choose one) Angels, Mariners, or Giants.

If true, it’s kind of a relief, although it leaves the Sox out of their best option of getting a closer. Still, the thought of an Ortiz-Ramirez-Drew heart of the order is tantalizing indeed, and certainly better than wondering whether Ortiz has a chance of breaking the all-time walks record.

15 comments… add one
  • Also, this note from the Herald was encouraging today:
    “Epstein said reliever Mike Timlin [stats] was bothered by shoulder weakness in the second half of the season.
    “The problem stemmed from a combination of Timlin’s offseason conditioning program the year before and his participation in the World Baseball Classic. But Epstein said Timlin, who met with new pitching coach John Farrell and manager Terry Francona here yesterday, was healthy now and should be a candidate for the setup role once again.”
    A healthy, once-again-dominant Timlin would settle the bullpen significantly. It’s hard to underestimate the effect not being able to count on him had last season.

    Paul SF December 5, 2006, 3:23 pm
  • Okay. Well, it’s not my money, so sign or trade for another pitcher and leave Papelbon in the closers role. Also, I’m not a doctor, so I see no problem with doing this:)

    Brad December 5, 2006, 3:28 pm
  • He has nothing for us on the legitimate offer of young pitching. How is he the most credible writer?

    Seth December 5, 2006, 3:36 pm
  • I’ll believe that Manny’s going to be on the Red Sox in March. ‘Till then, I don’t trust any rumor whatsoever. I think that is the smartest approach we can take here, because we’re not getting the truth from anyone. If the Red Sox did successfully move Manny, we would not hear about it until it was over and done.
    Edit – When Gammons says it, I’ll buy into it.

    Brad December 5, 2006, 3:54 pm
  • “Letdown?” I guess that depends on your perspective.
    It’s really good that even with all the rumors that have flown around regarding Manny, the one constant has been that the front office doesn’t want to “dump” him. Which they shouldn’t, even if Manny is can be a pain to deal with at times. Theo should stand his ground and wait for the best deal to come along, and if said deal never emerges, keep Manny. Simple as that.

    mouse December 5, 2006, 4:28 pm
  • It’s surely a letdown for a Yankee fan..

    Lar December 5, 2006, 4:59 pm
  • Not a letdown for me if the deal was Kemp, Broxton, Billingsley/Kuo, or Santana/K-rod, Wood.

    Seth December 5, 2006, 5:04 pm
  • …with all due respect seth, those kinds of deals ain’t gonna happen…manny is still the best hitter in the game, but he has been devalued some by the perception, fair or not, that he has “image problems”…i’ll use that little phrase to sum up everything being said about his alleged flaws…the annual mating dance by theo and other sox brass trying to find a suitor for manny has also had a negative effect on his value…having said that, he could still bring something solid in return…theo wants the moon, but he may have to settle for something less…
    …as a yankee fan, i wanted to see manny leave the sox [he kills us]…there could still be a deal depending on how much wiggle room the sox want to leave in the negotiations…as a baseball fan, i’ve said you should keep him…he is still the best hitter in baseball and while the sox could get some interesting and talented players in exchange, there is no “replacing” him in your lineup with any hitter currently in the game…

    dc December 5, 2006, 5:21 pm
  • DC, Cleveland made the playoffs the year after Manny left with only avg pitching (but an inspired Juan Gone).

    Seth December 5, 2006, 5:44 pm
  • Boras is confirming Drew’s signing.

    TJ December 5, 2006, 7:29 pm
  • A letdown for whom? The media? Talk radio hacks? Boston Dirt Dogs? Bloggers?
    Boo-hoo! If the worst that happens this offseason is that the Sox are “forced” to keep one of the greatest hitters of his generation (at a price that is starting to look like one of the greatest bargains of this generation), that would be just fine.
    Count me as at least one fan who’d cheer Manny’s return.

    Hudson December 5, 2006, 8:51 pm
  • A letdown in that we’ve had the rush of all these rumors — and all these pretty darn good players who in some combination would make a Manny trade worthwhile (Peavy, Weaver, Linebrink, Broxton, Chad Cordero, etc. etc.) and now just an empty void. How will we fill our lives without the endless stream of “trade Manny!” chatter?
    Hehe, kidding. By “letdownm” I was just referring to the fact that all that buildup that seemed to be heading somewhere is now heading nowhere.

    Paul SF December 5, 2006, 9:03 pm
  • Meh. Didn’t the 04 blockbuster sort of surprise everyone? I won’t assume Manny’s going to be here until ST starts.

    desturbd1 December 5, 2006, 9:12 pm
  • Just remember one thing SOX FANS!
    90 Years ago you traded away the best player of all time….
    BABE RUTH, Why would you trade the best player right now in baseball???
    Manny stays, Or again you will trade the best player in baseball!

    Milobubbies December 8, 2006, 12:24 am
  • …milobubbies, they traded babe ruth for no-no nanette…manny or trot or coco was supposed to be replaced by nancy drew…get it?

    dc December 8, 2006, 12:31 am

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