George Steinbrenner will not fall for the Rope-a-Dope ploy the Red Sox set up for him when they placed Manny Ramirez on irrevocable waivers. The Yankees, along with the Mets, will pass on Manny's services. The rest of baseball isn't chomping at the bit either. According to The Boston Globe:
"Who's going to take that deal?" said one major league team executive. "There aren't many teams that can afford him. The guy is not a National League player, for one. He can't play defense, and his contract goes forever. And he's a disruptive guy on a good team; what would he be like on a bad team?"
The Red Sox were banking on George's impulsiveness, but the old man won't bite, thank goodness. Regardless, Dan Shaughnessy likes how the Sox are thinking:
The Sox have made a bold statement to their 31-going-on-12-year-old slugger. Next time Manny and his greedy agent, Jeffrey Moorad, start talking about Manny not being comfortable in Boston and wanting to be traded, the Sox have an answer. We couldn't give you away, Manny. Not with that contract. Not with your childish history of Manny being Manny.Forget the idea that the Sox have embarrassed Manny. Ramirez and his agent asked for this. They've been begging the Sox to trade him to the Yankees. The Sox have told them the Yankees won't pick up his contract, never mind part with players. To prove their point, the Boston ball club is demonstrating the Yankees won't pick up Manny's deal even if there's no trade involved. Nice going, Sox.
John Harper and Joel Sherman think that George is doing the right thing too. Kevin Kernan floats a rumor that I feared from the start: Boston plans to move both Manny and Nomar and trade for Alex Rodriguez. It makes sense to me. I don't know whether there is any truth to it, of course. But I always imagine the worst case scenerio and run with it.