The Manny trade rumors might be as all-encompassing (and ultimately annoying) as the Favre story, but it feels like a blissful respite from Favre 24/7 to focus on Manny.
The potential/very real trade is the lead of my Sporting News column today.
I remain stunned that the Red Sox would bail on Manny -- I figured they were analytical-minded enough to see past the personality issues and focus on the numbers.
Then I read Pinto's VORP analysis, which posited that losing Manny wouldn't cost the Red Sox any wins. Maybe one. Of course, here's the thing about that:
One win may be the difference between making the playoffs and not, between winning a playoff series and not, between successfully defending the title and not.
There's a default "Trust Theo" in this situation, but if I was a Red Sox fan, I'd be more bummed than a Packers fan should be if the Packers let Favre go.
(And if I was a Yankees or Rays fan -- or Angels fan, more importantly -- I'd be thrilled. One of the Top 3 biggest bats in the AL will have been shipped out of the league.)
From the Marlins' perspective, I love it. Take that $22 million payroll and double-down on Manny, betting that two months of paying for Ramirez is worth it, given how close they are to the playoffs.
(I renew my long-standing theory about the Marlins: You can rip them all you want, but they have two World Series titles since 1997, so they must be doing something right.)
Amazingly, the Manny thing eclipses what should be a triumphal day for the Yankees and their fans: Nabbing Pudge, the linchpin of 2 World Series teams in the last 5 years.
Given the pace of the arms race here, I think it's just a matter of time before someone brings in Barry Bonds. Frankly, I don't know what any of them are waiting for.
(Bad PR? Please: Nothing cures a PR problem like winning. And the risk that acquiring Bonds would HURT an already successful team seems low.)
Full SN column can be found here. More here as the trade deadline winds down to 4 p.m. ET.