The Nationals will have to vault over two of the elite franchise in baseball — the Red Sox and the Angels — in order to secure Teixeria’s service. They also have to hope he wants to play in the National League for the next eight or 10 years, instead of the American League, where he has spent five of his six major league seasons. They have to hope that playing close to his Severna Park, Md., home is enough of a priority to make it a deal maker, and then they have to outbid the Orioles, the team Teixeria grew up watching. That’s a lot of hurdles to overcome.
But if they fall short of Teixeria, will they still feel compelled to spend big bucks to bring a big bats to Washington? Everyone assumes their fallback will be Adam Dunn, and that is probably the case, given general manager Jim Bowden’s obsession with the slugger. What if, though, Boras has also been whispering in Ted Lerner’s ear about Ramirez, another Boras client who may find himself without a seat in the musical chairs among the big boys once Teixeira and C.C. Sabathia make their moves and start the ball rolling on free agency signings?
From operating a baseball team, my view would be it’s Teixiera or bust. Neither Dunn nor Ramirez is the kind of personality you want to invest huge sums of money in. Those are deals they would regret. On the other hand, from a columnist point of view, let me offer Manny Ramirez a free subscription to The Washington Times and any other cheap incentives I can come up with to entice this gold mine of material to come to Washington.
Maybe they can get Wily Mo Pena to convince Ramirez to sign with the Nationals. When he came to town with the Dodgers in August, I tried to interview him, but he had little to say at the time (one of ther great things about Ramirez is he doesn’t even have to talk to be gold) save for asking how Wily Mo was doing here.
And let’s not forget the image of Bowden running around on the field at Nationals Park before a game with the Dodgers with a Manny Ramirez dreadlocks wig. Will the stands be full of such wigs at Nationals Park in 2009?