On the day the Nats sent another final reminder to season ticket holders who haven't yet renewed, Jim Bowden poked one last stick in their eye. All the buzz about Manny being Natty? It's not happening.
PT Bowden told the Post: "Based on our plan on building a franchise, we have not and are not going to be making him an offer."
Woo-hoo! More Austin Kearns! Tickets are going F-A-S-T!
Nationals Journal lays out the basic case for not signing ManRam:
1) It's a short-term strategy that doesn't help the long-term franchise goals.
2) There's no clear position for him given the young outfielders they have.
3) Would Manny be happy playing for a loser?
The first is wrong for two reasons.
It assumes that there's no benefit to some short-term moves. Ask any season ticket holder who couldn't resell or even give away their tickets to one of last year's 102 losses if there's any benefit to a quality product on the field. This year's attendance will likely ram that point home harder than the way Manny nails a hanging slider.
Second, it assumes that Manny couldn't help long-term. Sure, he's old, but he's also highly tradable -- or the Nats could always recoup some draft picks if he signed elsewhere at the end of a deal.
On the second excuse, the argument means that the Nats need to give Josh Willingham -- who turns 30 this year and has 12 fewer all-star apperances than Manny -- and all the other outfielders consistent playing time.
Given Elijah Dukes' injury history and the inconsistency of the others, the idea that there's no room for Manny is, well, silly: "Why are you giving me a $100 bill? I've already got four twenties!"
On the third, that's always a danger, but when did ol' Leatherpants and the Nats start caring about clubhouse chemistry?
It's the bottom line -- runs scored and runs allowed -- that wins games and sells tickets. And a team with Manny is sure going to score a lot more than one with Kearns tapping weakly to second.