Well, as I had predicted before it was made public, the speculation of Manny wanting more money has now been made public. This is, in my opinion, actually a good thing.
I had this sneaking suspicion all along - and I'm glad I finally put it down in black and white. Not that any of us should be surprised, but Manny is full of crap and agents are (generally) money grubbing slime.
I have said a number of times that the Sox should keep Manny. Period. They are a better team with him and even getting Tejada (while filling holes) is NOT equal value. Now, I say they can call his bluff in one of two ways.
1. Make a deal with Baltimore. Hell make it a sweetheart deal for the O's - Manny, Clement and Lester or Marte (don't have a hear attack, let me finish). Even agree to pay some of the $57 MM. The O's get their 72 hours to "negotiate" with Manny, who will ultimately say he won't wave his no trade unless they give him $40 MM more (i.e., more than 33% more than market value. Baltimore will/may ask the Sox for even more $$. And then the Sox say NO. Baltimore certainly won't exercise the options. Trade off. And Manny can't whine. The tried to trade him. They did trade him. But then Manny will turn it down not because he wants to play for a winner. Not because he won't get privacy in Balt. Not because of location. But because of money. And this from the guy who said he would retire after 2008. And whose agents said he would not report to camp (and leave $20MM on the table). Yeah right. The same guy who five years ago went to the highest bidder.
2. The other option. Straight up call his bluff. No trade. They tried. Tell him tough. Let him threaten to sit out. He'll go to camp for the Dominican in the WBC. He'll get his ABs and his work in. Come April 1 he will come to his senses (and cents). And come back to Boston.
Either way - call his bluff. They are a better team with him. And frankly, even if he is gone the Boston Red Sox will always be a soap opera. We all thought it might be different after winning it all, but if anything it has gotten worse.