Steve Phillips (and others) have described Manny Ramirez as a future Hall of Famer dozens of times today. Often, in fact, in the context of two future Hall of Famers being traded on the same day. Really? When did this happen?
I agree that he’s been an exceptionally consistent hitter and someone who has proven to be money in the clutch (pennant races and postseason), absolutely. But he’s made lots of enemies, looks consistently ridiculous and now his staunchest potential supporters, his Boston teammates, are not going to push for his election. The Boston media are going to actively work against him and that matters. Finally, his numbers are substantial but not overwhelming. Manny is not an A-Rod or Bonds; someone everyone recognizes as an all-time great. With all the top-tier power hitters of the last 10 to 15 years, Manny stands out from the crowd but not overwhelmingly. Is Manny obviously better than Frank Thomas, Juan Gonzalez, Sammy Sosa, Jeff Bagwell, Jim Thome, Ken Griffey Jr. Vlad Guerrero, and Chipper Jones? Enough better that he gets into the Hall of Fame even if some of those guys don’t?
It will help Manny that he’s never had any steroid links but that may not be enough to balance his antics and now, his apparent disinterest in winning another championship. The Dodgers are not gonna be in the World Series, with or without his offense. If Manny starts falling off in the next couple years and becomes an obvious big contract bust (you just know he’ll get paid this winter regardless) his star will fall very quickly.