Flip on sports radio in New York these days and it won't be long before you hear a discussion about Manny Ramirez signing with the Yankees. Some love it, some loathe it, but everyone's got an opinion about it. That chatter is sure to grow on the heels of a report in Impacto Deportivo which claims the Yankees are in advanced negotiations with Ramirez about a three-year, $75 million contract.
Now, you might be saying to yourself, what the heck is Impacto Deportivo and why should I believe this fish wrapper anymore than any pie-in-the-sky rumor mill? They've been right several times before on stories regarding Latin players, including scooping everyone when it came to the Braves' interest in Rafael Furcal this offseason. That doesn't mean they're right this time, obviously, but there's ample reason not to dismiss it out of hand.
Brian Cashman has already denied that it's true, but no good general manager would confirm a report about what he had for lunch, let alone the status of negotiations. It's also important to remember that Manny's agent, Scott Boras, is also trying to get the Red Sox to pony up a few extra bucks to sign Mark Teixeira. There are worse ways to do that than intimate that their biggest rivals are about to sign one of the most dangerous hitters in baseball.
That's exactly what Ramirez is, and there's little doubt that his presence in the lineup would make the Yankees a more potent team. There are few arguments against signing him, in fact, that have anything to do with baseball and everything to do with the bogus notion that the Yankees are somehow above signing self-involved players who put themselves before the game. Or that Ramirez has long hair, because it's 1967. You'll find it helpful to note that many of those making those claims cheered lustily for Reggie Jackson and Roger Clemens when they were besmirching the pinstripes.
There are actual baseball reasons to oppose signing Manny -- his defense and age chief among them -- but the idea that the Yankees would be demeaning themselves is both wrong and laughable.