Albert Pujols came out of the closet yesterday to air his admiration for the star of this offseason's biggest free agent saga: Manny Ramirez. The All-Star first basemen declared how thrilled he would be if the Dominican superstars anchored the Red Birds, creating a super powered middle of the lineup for St. Louis.
"I speak with Manny every three days and he tells me, `Man, no one wants to sign me.' I'm not an agent or general manager, but I can't understand how Manny has not signed. 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."
Maybe Pujols never took an account course in college, because the reason for Manny's lack of a home is simple, money. The perfect storm of greed, Ramirez and his cash-hungry agent Scott Boras, will never settle for a deal that is not financially robust, and the notion of a discount is practically hideous.
Ramirez has played in Cleveland, Boston, and LA. All three of those clubs reside in "great cities," and Boston has some of the most loyal fans in all of sports. So if Ramirez really wanted to strike up a charitable deal and save some payroll, it would open many more options than just St. Louis.
Also, the logistics of Ramirez fitting into the Cardinals' clubhouse are far fetched. There is no way that Manny could get on the same page as the "innovative" Tony LaRussa. LaRussa's controlling managerial style would make Manny a fish out of water. Although Ramirez endured his stint under Joe Torre well, we all know that Manny's play in Los Angeles was a front to get paid.
LaRussa will not go for the uninspired play he showed in Boston, and is too loyal to homegrown talents like Ryan Ludwick, Rick Ankiel and Colby Rasmus. Considering they need pitching, I would be absolutely floored if the Cardinals went after Manny.