Whole new reason to call Massachusetts the “Bay State”…

Is this one of those “remember where you were moments?” 

I definitely remember where I was when the Nomar deal went down.  Do you?  I have a feeling I won’t soon forget about this moment either.  In any event, I was up late last night, reflecting on Manny’s time as a member of the Red Sox and trying to put my feelings into words.  So I came up with this poem…see what you think.

 

How do I say goodbye to what we had?

 The good times that made us laugh

Outweigh the bad

 

I thought we’d get to see forever

But forever’s gone away

It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday

 

Ok, I admit it, that’s not a “Voice” original… I stole one (or truthfully, all) of those lines from the sweet musical stylings of Boyz II Men.  But you get the point…

I think I just lost half of my readership by sending them to that Boyz II Men youtube clip.  And no, I have no idea what it says on the bottom of the video…but I did laugh a lot imagining what it might say…

Thumbnail image for 6-17 This week in Red Sox History.jpgAnyhow, all his craziness aside, part of me will probably miss Manny. I was here for Manny’s first game at Fenway Park as a member of the Red Sox.  Till my dying day, it will go down as one of my best baseball memories.  By the bottom of the first inning, we were already down 3-0, but with two men on and Manny Ramirez making his Fenway Park debut as a member of the Red Sox, the crowd errupted in a “MANNY! MANNY! MANNY!” chant.  And while the crowd was still chanting the team’s new acquisition, Manny hit a game-tying homerun over the left field wall on the very first pitch he saw.

I remember thinking at that point, that the Red Sox as we had previously known them, were no more.  Everything had changed.  Manny had equalized the game, gave the fans hope, and made everybody feel like we suddenly had an edge (two really when you count Pedro) on every other team in the majors .

Two World Series titles later (and one WS MVP for Manny), everything around here has changed.  We are suddenly the odds-on favorites almost every year.  We’re about to break the MLB record for consecutive sell-outs (knock-on-wood).  Fenway Park is no longer too old. 

But so too has the perception of Manny Ramirez changed.  The general consensus that I’ve gathered from talking to fans around town and from the emails and blog comments that I’ve received is that it we had a great run with Manny, but it’s time to move on.

So move on we shall…Welcome to Boston, Jason Bay!

jason bay.jpgI’m sure the trade (or the days leading up to it) sent a lot of you scrambling to mlb.com to find out exactly who this guy is.  I’m sure many of you left pleasantly surprised after taking a look at his accomplishments (in a less than stellar lineup nonetheless).

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m VERY excited to see him play here everyday and see what kind of an impact he is going to have on the lineup and in the clubhouse.

Playing in a much smaller market, he hasn’t gotten a ton of national attention, but Bay, who won the 2004 NL Rookie of the year, is a very solid player.  He’s also a two-time all-star and should be hitting the prime of his career.  Don’t expect Manny Ramirez, but I think it is fair to expect to see a really good baseball player.  From all accounts I’ve heard, Red Sox Nation will really take to Bay’s hard work and gritty style of play.  Very exciting stuff! 

It will certainly be different not seeing Manny’s name in the lineup.  But in Bay, we get a younger, faster, and offensively talented outfielder who will be a hardworker in every sense of the word.

So as we head down the stretch here, what are your thoughts on this deal and our overall chances??  But before you answer that, riddle me this?  Over the past 3 years, who has more homeruns, Manny or Jason Bay? (spoiler alert – the answer may surprise you) 

Do you think the team will now be re-energized? How do you think Bay will fare in a vastly improved lineup, and playing half of his games at Fenway Park?  Everyone’s got an opinion on this one, and I don’t expect any of you to be shy!  Send me an email (insider@redsox.com), or post a comment here on the blog!

All the best from inside the Front Office,

“The Voice”

12 Comments

Welcome Jason Bay. I hope your time with my Beloved Red Sox is exciting, productive, and fun. What an opportunity you have before you. An adventure of a lifetime. Enjoy every minute of it.
Mary Tanner
#1 fan in Maine

Hi Voice;

I loved your blog today–you are getting creative. I just asked my 39 year old son ( an Angel fan visiting his Mom with a new broom) who are Boyz II Men – the You tube clip.
He suggested I visit You Tube more often and become a member.

Anyway I think this trade is going to be good for all. Another poem you could have used comes from the bible– “there is a time for every season…….time to be born….time to die……TIME TO LET GO….” You get the idea! ( Ecclesiastes Chapter 3)
Welcome Jason Bay to Red Sox Nation. All we ask is that you work at being the best you can be and you will have the Nation’s support.
Good bye Manny, thanks for the memories,may your future see you into your senior years. Growing up IS REALLY hard to do!

Elaine Liming The Teacher

Boston seems to have alot of trouble keeping it’s good players. Ruth,Pedro,Johnny D and now Manny. Jon Lester pitched one of 17 no-hitters in baseball history. I imagine he’s next. Boston doesn’t suffer the ‘curse of the Babe’ It suffers the curse of poor management. *prediction – baseball season will end in early September n Boston.
– Jerry the disapointed

I welcome Jason Bay. I don’t agree, however, on what the Sox need to do to unload Manny and gain Jason. Losing Hanson and Moss didn’t seem to make sense. If Manny was really souring the team chemistry, did anyone from management (Theo or Terry) sit him down at least once and lay it on the line?

I would hope that there would be a few “come to Jesus” meetings with Manny, face to face, man to man, before a one-sided trade. Maybe it happened an we can’t know.

If not, wouldn’t it have been better to let him know that unless he becomes a member of the team in every sense, that he would remain on the roster but sit the bench in his street clothes, night after night, watching his team mates play? No locker room, no interaction, just sit. It may have been worth the roster spot.

At least we wouldn’t have to sacrafice two other players to accomodate a spoiled ballplayer.

I will miss Manny and miss him terribly. But I welcome Jason Bay because he seems like a very genuine great person and talented. The whole scene with Manny got really ugly. It seems like the tone in the clubhouse was tense. Not good.
So, in the end, this was a great move for the Sox because now Manny seems happy for the moment.
As for Manny v. Sox management, the meetings or any discusion is confidential. So we will never know. And remember, divorce has two sides to it. Afterall, this was quite an ugly divorce. But it went pretty quickly.
GO SOX and WELCOME JASON BAY!

i think the trade is going to work out for all three teams. to me, it was a gut check for the entire organization and displayed just how much courage they all have.

moss more than likely will have never had a chance to play everyday here. not due to a lack of talent but simply due to the depth the organization has at that position. and unfortunately for craig hansen he could never quite get it figured out here. after showing flashes of brilliance here and there hes generally been extremely frustrating so best of luck to him. arms like his are rare so i hope hes able to succeed in pittsburgh.

yahoos like “jerry the disappointed” clearly dont get it. mannys agenda became more important than winning. and yes, as cheesy and “un-sabr” as it may sound he misses the concept of what it means to be a team.

relationships run their course in every facet of life and this was no different.

A couple of things…

First off, welcome to The Red Sox, Jason Bay. I hope your time in Boston is filled with great moments and much success. You’ve come to the *best* team in baseball and the fans will love you as long as you play hard and give it your best.

Now as for Manny. No doubt he will end up someday in the Hall of Fame and Sox fans will *never* forget his contribution to bringing 2 World Series Championships to Beantown.

However, and this is important, in the end, with all his talent he ultimately let a lot of people down and should be ashamed of himself.

No sense in rehashing the last month or so of Life with Manny…I’ll simply leave it at this…last night after watching the Sox comeback and beat the A’s in the bottom of the 12th…living out here in California I decided to watch the Dodger/D’back game to see Manny’s debut.

Ironically, he didn’t get the *big* hit. What he *did* get, at the bottom of the 6th, with 2 out and a runner on 2nd, was a check swing roller to second which he beat out for an infield hit. The runner, Matt Kemp, was caught in a rundown and tagged out ending the inning. No run scored and the Dodgers ended up losing the game 2-1.

But I swear to God, watching him *fly* down the first base line…he looked like Coco Crisp. I mean… that one moment said it all and I lost a ton of respect for this future Hall of Famer. Quite the opposite of how he *dogged it* in his last game at Fenway against the Angels.

Again, the man should be ashamed of all the crap he pulled at the end. No excuse for that *ever* from any player who calls himself a professional.

As I said, he let a lot of people down. His team mates first and foremost. But hey, those guys knew what was up all along. They wanted to believe it was just Manny being Manny. No dice. It was Manny only caring about Manny.

The guy is a disappointment. I wish him well. Hope he gets all the cash he *thinks* he deserves after the season is over and he becomes a free agent.

At which time, I hope the Sox are once again, World Series Champs!

Success can sometimes be the sweetest revenge.

Go Sox!

Jimmy Arone
Burbank, CA.

Hmmm ..I ‘ve thought about Manny being traded and I have to admit I was stunned for about 2 days, my only saving grace was that ‘Thank god he didn’t go to the Yankees” LOL!Dealing with ‘use to look like Jesus, throws like Mary , and acts like Judas ,Johhny Damon’ was a bit more than I could handle –
I was there in Baltimore when he hit his 500th homer, and have been a Manny fan always- I’m not sure what has happened, I wonder did the Red Sox, Manny, his agent do everything possible before all this happened?
Now that I’m older and realize that things are not black and white I have to wonder was every avenue explored prior to this deal? And who were the “seasoned players” who went to management to air their concerns? Seems to me things were getting a bit funky before this- and I have to wonder why didn’t things get resolved before now?
We will never know what happened , and for now I’m just mourning that fact that we won’t ever benefit from that great swing ever again, I’ll miss the 1-2 punch he and Papi could deliver , I’ll miss Manny just sometimes just being Manny in a good way ( which was more often than not – Do I think we are a better team today because of the trade ? Nope, but maybe some peace has come to both sides –
My first thoughts after all this was a conversation with God who I try to talk more to than just during the MLB Play Offs, World Series and of course the Superbowl…( yup Patriots fan also) I looked up , shut my eyes, and really prayed for both sides to work out, Manny and the Red Sox,.So far I’m thinking that God must have chuckled because all seems to have worked out okay so far–
Will I miss those dread locks and one of the beautiful swings in baseball? Will I stand up and give him a standing ovation if ever he comes to Fenway Park? You bettcha-

OMG, I can’t watch any sentimental video of Manny to music yet.

It was an era…a crazy, fun time – and Manny’s a crazy guy.

As in all old relationships, even those that end badly – they’re always reflected upon with rose colored glasses. Surely our love affair with Manny Ramirez will be looked upon the same way in hindsight.

We won two world championships with him.
It will be interesting to see what we do without him.

As a postscript… as great of a weekend we’ve had with the addition to the linup, I still don’t feel we upgraded the team anyway. We still have issues w/ pitching and middle relief that need to be addressed.

Now that the smoke has cleared on the trade issue — any thoughts on that kind of a “fix”?

I LOVE THE SOX BUT I THINK THAT THIS IS ONE BIG LOST,JUST LIKE BABE RUTH WAS SO WAS ROGER CLEMENT,AND#3 IS LETTING MANNY GO, I LL BE A RED SOX FAN FOREVER AND I LL MISS HIM IN OUR LINE UP,I THINK THAT MANNY IS THE BEST THERE HITTER AND JASON BAY WONT CAME CLOSE TO WHAT MANNY DID FOR THE TEAM.

Well, I was saddened by Manny leaving….but…was very happy when I checked out Jason’s stats….Just as good as Mannys.

I watched his first at bat…. The Red Sox fans gave him a standing ovation….total class act…

Welcome Jason Bay!!!! I hope you live long and prosper as a Red Sox!!!

Billie J. Brewer
Highland, CA.

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