Colgate Around the Hill – It’s just one week until pitchers and catchers, and Manny Ramirez is still without a team? Where will Manny end up? Is he worth the trouble?

By Mitch Waxman

Baseball fans want one thing each year: a championship. And there are two ingredients necessary to reach this goal: good pitching and solid hitting. If you knew that signing one player would provide a quantum leap towards achieving one of those goals, would you do it? I know I would.

Whatever team ends up with Manny Ramirez will end up with a 30 HR, 100 RBI player if he has just an average year. If Manny takes the league’s ignorance towards him personally, who knows what his ceiling can be? Terrell Owens has always been able to find a home in the NFL despite his antics. Dennis Rodman became a mainstay on those Bulls championship teams; no one cared that he dressed in drag for his wedding (or maybe they forgave him because he was marrying Carmen Electra). In the workplace, it may be frowned upon if an employee goes crazy on the weekends and smells like a mixed drink on Monday, but if his performance is impressive then he usually keeps his job. Simply put, as long as someone does what they are paid to do, that should be all that matters.

As for where Manny will end up, I see him going to the Yankees. I know the Dodgers have an interest in him, but at the end of the day, what’s $30 million dollars to Hal Steinbrenner when he’s already spent nearly $500 million this off-season? Although the Yankees say they are happy with their outfield, wouldn’t Hal love to torture the Red Sox with Boston’s former heart and soul? And no matter how much you hate the Yankees, who wouldn’t want to see, literally, the best team money can buy?

By Edouard Boulat

If I were a general manager in Major League Baseball with money to spend and serious World Series aspirations, I would undoubtedly sign Manny Ramirez. What would I be getting? Sure he’d bring along his long hair, his “Manny-being-Manny” attitude, his belly flops in the outfield and his mid-catch high-fives. But what he’d also bring is arguably the biggest bat in baseball next to Ryan Howard and Albert Pujols, serious playoff hopes and increased ticket sales. At the end of the day, regardless of his on and off-the-field antics, Manny is one of the most feared hitters in baseball, and if surrounded by the right teammates, he is good enough to single-handedly take a team deep into the playoffs and contend for a ring. He speaks his mind, gets upset when he loses and doesn’t back down from anyone. If you want to win, those things shouldn’t stop you from signing a guy like Ramirez. After all he wasn’t exactly tearing apart those Red Sox teams that won it all in 2004 and 2007. So who’s going to reach into their wallets and sign him? The Mets have already signed a few big names this off-season. Albert Pujols has apparently been lobbying the Cardinals front office to sign Ramirez. My guess is that when time really runs out the Dodgers will resign him to a shorter deal than was expected (see Andy Pettitte). But hey, knowing Manny he just might decide to take a year off and hit the beaches for a while.

By Gillian Scherz

Manny Ramirez is quite the handful. His statistics have been superb everywhere he plays, including two pennant-winning teams in Cleveland and the first Boston Red Sox championship team in 86 years. On the field, Manny would undoubtedly be a quintessential asset to any team. But I think attitude is going to be the deciding factor in Manny’s near future. He’s always been a bit of a ‘take it or leave it’ guy, not necessarily a go-getter unless you’re talking about a salary, in which case he’s trying to slide into home. Allegedly, he didn’t get along so well in Boston at the end of his tenure there, but growing up a Cleveland Indians fan myself, I’d take him back in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, we sure as heck don’t have the money. And what’s the point if you’re not going to bring back Lofton, Vizquel, Justice, Thome and the Alomar brothers?

So where will Manny go now? I see two possible options. Either the Los Angeles Dodgers give him an ultimatum and he accepts the deal he’s turning down right now, or he refuses to settle for less and doesn’t sign anywhere at all. It’s hard to picture Manny without baseball and baseball without Manny, but the pride comes before the fall, and right now, he’s looking pretty stubborn.

By Paul Kasabian

I don’t care about the antics of Manuel Aristides Onelcida Ramirez. Sure he’s aloof and his act grew tiresome last year, but he’s not a bad guy. As long as he hits home runs, knocks in runners and stays out of the police blotter, he can be on my team any day. The problem I have is with Scott Boras, Ramirez’s agent, who is looking to get at least a four-year contract worth $25 million per year for his client. I’m not paying that much money over that amount of time for a man that is going to turn 37 in May, and I’m definitely not writing that check if I’m a general manager for a National League team. Boras is waiting for L.A. to cave and give Ramirez his desired contract, but that’s not going to happen. Why is that? Well, the Dodgers offered Ramirez a 1-year, $25 million contract that was promptly rejected. If that money doesn’t go to Ramirez, the Dodgers can puruse other options, take that money, and sign Ben Sheets and Adam Dunn, who are still on the market. Sure, Dunn is no Manny by any stretch of the imagination, but L.A. can take a flier on Sheets in hopes that he fills departed Derek Lowe’s spot in the rotation. The Dodgers have options. Manny does not. And that’s because L.A. seems to be Manny’s only viable option. In this economy, there are very few teams that can round up enough money to pay Ramirez, and the Dodgers happen to be one of those teams. The New York teams have made their free agency moves, and the Angels are not interested. The Giants are intrigued, but can’t afford to pay him. Manny sure as hell isn’t going to Boston, so L.A. is where he’ll stay.