|Rusney Castillo signs with Red Sox for 7 years, $72.5 million||Connelly’s Top Ten: All-Star Starting Pitchers, Medal for Frates, Weekend||Video: Angels’ Garret Richards Blows Out Knee vs. Red Sox||The Mishandled Career of Jackie Bradley Jr.|
Current Affairs: Manny showed up on time to spring training. Yay. And if you have been reading the Globe, Manny has been getting ripped! Manny has always worked hard at becoming a better hitter so maybe after a disappointing 2007 where he broke his streak of 9 consecutive years of +30 HRs and +100 RBI, he’ll be looking to rebound.
Also to note exactly one year to this day, February 20th, Julian Tavarez reported Manny would be late to spring training. Ahh reminiscing.
Offense: Grade A
Manny Ramirez might be getting older but he’s still one of the best right handed bats in the game. Come rain or shine, come terrible defense and no skill at baserunning, Manny Ramirez will be a staple of the Red Sox as long as he can swing the bat. And frankly, I like it.
Defense: Grade C-
Defensively Manny plays left field and thats why it’s hard to give him worse than a C-. In Fenway he gives opposing players a lot to think about when rounding the bases. His arm is deceptive because his accuracy can go either way. He usually tosses it in very quickly and ignores taking an extra .5 seconds for accuracy and strength. His best skill is reading the ball off the wall. His worst skill is being Manny. Sorry, Manny being Manny.
Away from Fenway Manny can’t cover the distance you’d like from an outfielder. But at least he has managed to keep his error mark to two in each of the last two years. Manny does the job at least, not well, but he does it.
Baserunning: Grade F
Manny has lost all reason on the bases. He on occasion won’t even look at the third base coach when deciding to go home. He’ll try to turn a single into a double and get thrown out. He’ll hit a wall ball double and only get a single. He’ll slide into a plate head first and hurt his hand. He’ll make sure to toss off his helmet as he rounds a bag. If there is anything good left about Manny’s baserunning that is any better than a league-average player (besides a Bengie Molina catcher type) please tell me.
Clubhouse Presence: Grade C-
Manny loves being Manny. And it seems like everyone enjoys having him around. No matter what he says he still seems to keep a relaxed attitude around him. Francona might not agree but Manny is a low stress guy. So Manny might not add much but presence to a clubhouse, but at least he doesn’t detract from it.
2008 Player Projection: