Manny or Bust
Do you like the idea of winning a World Series? I understand that most Giant fans don’t expect a World Series trip this season and why would they when the front office has turned the off-season into the annual “who can we overpay for this year” event. This year’s winner was Edgar Renteria who is being overpaid by exactly $18 mm because Orlando Cabrera is a better player and he is currently without a team. In addition to overpaying for players, the Giants brain trust continues to think having a collection of good not great players can lead you to a championship. Allow me to make something clear – having a few great players doesn’t guarantee your team a championship but not having any great players guarantees your team won’t win a championship. (Feel free to write that on your wall at home). With this thought in mind we come to Manny.
Manny Ramirez is the most feared right-handed hitter of my lifetime. He does not think or hit like any other hitter in the league. While Vlad will swing at anything, Pujols needs to give me a few more good years and A-rod will psych himself out for weeks at a time, Manny is rock solid consistent when he wants to be. The only reason anyone would not want him on his team is because he checks out once and awhile. The only legitimate reason to not sign Manny is because you fear his temperamental personality. We are all familiar with the concept of risk vs. reward. When your reward is a player that can carry a lineup for an entire season, it is almost impossible to justify not taking that risk.
(I would like to thank Manny Ramirez for single-handedly costing the Red Sox the World Series. I have to admit I have a soft spot for this guy. )
Let’s talk economics.
Here are some basic realities of the coming season for the Giants if they don’t do anything else this off-season:
Ticket Sales: ~2,500,000 x $25 = $62,500,000
Merchandise Sales: ~$3,000,000
TV Revenue: ~$20,000,000
Ticket Sales: ~2,800,000 x $25 = $70,000,000 (this projection is conservative)
Merchandise Sales: ~4,000,000
TV Revenue: ~$22,000,000
Comparison: Manny vs. No Manny
Ticket Sales: $70,000,000 - $62,500,000 = $7,500,000
Merchandise Sales: $4,000,000 - $3,000,000 = $1,000,000
TV Revenue: $22,000,000 - $20,000,000 = $2,000,000
Manny vs. No Manny = $7,500,000 + $1,000,000 + $2,000,000 = $10,500,000
Obviously, $10.5 mm does not get it done so one more move has to be made … trade Randy Winn to the Yankees for two interns and a bag of cool ranch Doritos. You now save $8,250,000. So what do you pay Manny? I am thinking $90,000,000 over 4 years. I think everyone wins with that deal. Here are the updated numbers for 2009:
$22,500,000 (Manny) – $8,250,000 (Winn) – $10,500,000 (Manny factor) = $3,750,000
In conclusion, the Giants would have to expand their budget by a measly $3,750,000 to instantly make them the favorites in the NL West. It’s too bad the Giants don’t have a dominant starting pitcher like Cole Hamels that can carry them to the World Series. Oh wait, they have Tim Lincecum. The signing of Manny is starting to make a whole lot of sense to this financial professional.
In conclusion, the argument for not signing Manny because of money does not add-up.
(Did I mention that the Dodgers team, front office and fans would be demoralized? Did I mention that Matt Holiday does not scare any pitcher in baseball and he will go to the Red Sox anyways? Did I mention that the Giants need to do something to prove to their fans that still believe they can win a world series that winning is one of their top priorities?)