I don't care what you tell me, I will not sway from the notion that the Mets should sign Manny Ramirez at all costs.
He is a professional hitter, a big bat the lineup sorely needs. Sure, there are power guys like Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, and David Wright, but this guy can purely rake. Think Moises Alou at his best, and not injured.
I have a sneaking suspicion that Manny will be the starting left fielder when Citi Field opens in 2009. He's one of Omar Minaya's favorite players, and I think he'd fit in wonderfully with the players, fans, and especially the lineup.
Yes, he's a goofball. Yes, he's a showman. Yes, he can be a handful. But Jerry Manuel is the sort of manager who can control that. He's hands-off at times, but you just know he won't tolerate anything out of line. Heck, he's "gangsta."
And don't come to me whining about Manny corrupting Jose Reyes with his immaturity. If Manny can be Manny, then Jose can be Jose. They may not be the ideal personality, but they put up numbers and help the team win. I don't care if they throw a tiny tantrum when they don't want to leave the game. In fact, I encourage that.
Manny would make this lineup so much better, not only by adding his bat, but by protecting the guys around him. Let's imagine for a second that the Mets sign him:
Brian Schneider / Ramon Castro
[Second base? Please not Luis Castillo]
Beltran moves to the two-hole, where he belongs. If pitchers want to walk Manny, they then deal with Delgado and Wright. Wright could be interchanged with Manny. Church can be switched with Beltran. There are a lot of possibilities, but if these are the cogs in the machine, it's going to be a force to reckon with.
We now know Manny is legitimate. He can hit in both the American and National leagues. He can hit. Period. We've suffered through enough of Moises Alou, Fernando Tatis, Daniel Murphy and Nick Evans manning left field, that Manny Ramirez might even be a plus in the defensive categories as well.
He can hit, sort-of field, he'll bring in the money (but he'll also demand a lot), he grew up in New York, and he's all around fun to watch. Count me in for the "Manny in 2009!" campaign.