For Christmas this year, I wish for a dose of reality to hit Manny Ramirez right in the pocket-book. I need all of the GM's in major league baseball to simultaneously achieve intelligence and Barry Bonds Ramirez and his grubby little agent, Scott Boras.
Ramirez is a hall-of-fame talent most of the time and is such a leech on a ball club's soul, that nary a player bleated anything when the Boston Red Sox traded Ramirez PLUS two decent minor leaguers to acquire piece of mind ... and Jason Bay. And that, despite being in quite a tussle to make the playoffs.
Just how big a jerk do you have to be to be addition by subtraction? When at your best, you're first ballot Hall of Fame talent! Forget adding Boras to the list of crimes against baseball that Ramirez is about to commit, how about committing the ultimate sin in pro sports...intentionally jaking.
Ramirez didn't want to settle for 20 million bucks in each of the next two years. His agent flea kept whispering in his ear, "Rodriguez money. Maybe more. Maybe ... gasp ... 30 million a year!" He could not push his way out of town, as he did to the senior citizen traveling secretary of the team. He couldn't mutter and misspeak his way out. He finally quit playing, literally when the other team threw good pitchers, and figuratively as well. Even his staunchest supporters recognized him for what he was, a treacherously self-interested twit who was better off playing elsewhere.
I have no doubt that Ramirez will get big bucks this winter. But it would make me happy enough to abstain ALL OTHER CHRISTMAS PRESENTS if he was forced to sign a contract for merely $19,999,999.99 a year. Less would be good too. Really good. Would keep me happy until my birthday NEXT summer. But I'd except that symbolic penny with gratitude and yuletide tidings to all that made it possible.
Or even better, him getting the REAL Bonds treatment.