Baseball Card of the Week: The Manny of Our Dreams

I'm sure that you've probably all heard by now that Albert Pujols thinks the Cardinals should sign Manny Ramirez.

Well, you know what? If it's good enough for Albert, it's good enough for me. Manny Ramirez is our Card of the Week.

Specifically, we have a 2007 Manny Ramirez card by Bowman Heritage. I've used Bowman Heritage cards before, and I'm sure I've mentioned how much I like them, but I also think it's worth repeating: these are some of my very favorite cards on the market. Love the hand-painted look and all. Very classy.
 
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You know, when you hear something about Player A wants you to sign Player B, just because Player B is such a nice guy and all, you usually just let it go by. Ballplayers talk to each other all the time, and they all have their own friendships and the like, just like any other workplace. But I have to say, this one is more fun than the usual rumor mill fodder. 

Unfortunately, Mr. Mo was awfully quick to shoot down the idea, but that doesn't mean it isn't still fun to think about. You sign Manny, trade Rick Ankiel for some team's pitching prospect, and you suddenly have the '27 Yankees in your lineup every night. Who wouldn't want that? 

Of course, you also then have to take into account just how truly awful Manny's defense is; he probably gives back close to two full wins with the glove. When you put it in that context, he won't be all that much more valuable to the Cardinals than what they already have, if at all. Oh well.

Really, though, the most interesting thing in all of this isn't Albert basically putting in a good word for a buddy of his who's down on his luck, it's one of the other things that Albert said while he was doing it. 

"Maybe St. Louis doesn't have the money to sign him, but he could give them a discount because St. Louis is a great city that supports its players." 

Now, that probably means nothing, but I personally find it a little bit encouraging that Albert apparently understands the realities of the market, and the notion of a discount to play where you want.

Pujols famously said several years back that he wouldn't be giving any sort of hometown discount, and I fully supported what he said at the time. It's ridiculous for team ownership to expect players to constantly take less than what they could get to play in St. Louis.

But when it comes right down to it, when you start talking about the big money players, sometimes a team really doesn't have the cash to sign a player for full market value. It sounds to me as if Albert recognizes that fact, and seems to take into consideration that he may want to take a little less money to continue playing here beyond his current contract. 

Or, maybe I'm just misreading all of it, and he really is just doing the baseball player equivalent of telling his boss at the plant that his friend Joe is one of the best you've ever seen at assembling suppository applicators, but he'd probably work for less than you might think, seein' as how he's been down on his luck lately. Oh, well. Either way. 

You know, it isn't often that the best player in the game asks you for a favor. Maybe, just maybe, you might want to consider doing it. Maybe.


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