Manny Ramirez isn’t on the Red Sox anymore, and while most of the local media was busy this morning playing up how psyched the Yankees are (see here, here, and here) that he’s out of their division, Mike Lupica took the liberty of kicking off what will probably end up being the Next Big Story of Manny-Watch 2008. Lupica ended his column today by casually dropping the following: “Next year he’ll be probably DH-ing at an even bigger [stage]: The new Yankee Stadium.” Well, that took all of twelve hours.
We understand that Lupica wants to be authoritative (probably more so than any columnist in the city), but there are, like, a million reasons the Yankees wouldn’t want to bother with Manny: They’ll have more pressing holes to fill this winter, he’s on the downside of his career, he’s batshit insane, etc. Because the Yankees have all the money, we get that they’re always going to be part of the discussion for any free agent, so we’re at peace with the fact that this will eventually be debated ad nauseam. But just saying that Manny-to-the-Yankees is “probably” going to happen, as if a reader would have to be crazy not to agree, seems forced. It’s as if Lupica wants to be the first to call it, on the slim chance that Manny does become a Yankee four months from now. If that’s the case, we’d like to go on the record and predict that Manny will sign a contract with Baltimore worth exactly $63.75 million on December 5. We’re almost certainly wrong, but man, if we’re right? That’d be sweet. —Joe DeLessio