12 Angry Men...

...and none of them me. Safe from Jury Duty for another three years. Some thoughts I whipped-up while waiting for the day to end.

1) ATTENTION: This is a Manny-free zone:
Finally, after seven plus long years the circus has left town. For all the good Manny did in the line-up, Theo Epstein as been looking to punch his ticket out of town since he sat in the GM seat. Believe it or not despite the LA renaissance, Manny is on the decline. Stats do not lie. Manny's VORP (Value Over Replacement Player--just imagine the average baseball player was Julio Lugo and every player was given a rating in comparison to him. The higher the number, the better.) this season in Boston was 24. Baseball Prospectus had him pegged at 23.5. Last year, his VORP was 34.6, a slight decline. Of course, in 2006 it was 66.1--a significant drop-off. So really, the last two years Manny was not being Manny at the plate. At age 36, a full-seaon renaissance is unlikely. In fact, his projections trend further downward as he ages: Age 37 in 2009: VORP of 21; Age 38 in 2010: VORP of 11. Age 39 in 2011: VORP of 9.8. Yes, I am sure Scott Boras saw those numbers, just as Theo Epstein did. Any wonder why Manny wants free agency now instead of after 2010?

2) Let the age of JayBay begin:
Freed from the yoke of Pittsburgh, Jason Bay lands in Fenway to step into left field in the shoes of Manny Ramirez, Mike Greenwell, Jim Rice, Carl Yastremski, and Ted Williams (one of these players is not like the other!). Jason Bay in Pittsburgh stepped up this year with his 29.0 VORP (sorry, haters, but JayBay was better than Manny this season). Last year...eh, let's just say maybe Bay needed a year off. But the two seasons before that were positively Manny-esque: 2006: 49.7 VORP; 2005: 72.7 VORP.

So perhaps the Red Sox really did make the best deal out there...obviously, neither Lance Berkman nor Albert Pujols were going to show up in Fenway Park, and a peaking power-hitter is practically priceless in this day and age. The Sox got a good one for a slugger on the decline and two spare parts.