Shanoff's Wake-Up Call: Manny = Interest

Today's Calls: Manny Ramirez vs. Pudge Rodriguez, Marlins vs. Red Sox, Ryan Dempster vs. Aaron Cook, Brett Favre vs. John Lynch, MJ vs. Kobe and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: How big is Manny Ramirez? Single-handedly, he makes this the most intriguing MLB trade deadline in years. ↵

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↵I love the idea of Manny on the Marlins. Of all teams, he lands on the one with the $22 million payroll that Manny alone would nearly double. ↵

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↵But it quashes all the talk that the Marlins are playing to conserve payroll dollars, not actually fielding a winning product. ↵

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↵Would Manny help? Absolutely: Florida is already merely 1.5 GB of the lead in the NL East, having KO'ed the Mets last night. And it would let the Fish leap the Rays as Florida's hottest playoff contender. ↵

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↵Would losing Manny hurt the Red Sox? You'd think so, wouldn't you? But the stats-savvy Boston front office wouldn't trade him if they thought it would seriously dent their chances of making the playoffs -- in a must-read, the SABRiffic David Pinto illustrated why. ↵

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↵All of this is in the context of the Yankees yesterday dealing for Pudge Rodriguez, which -- combined with the post-All-Star break surge and the deal for Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte -- puts the Yankees in an even better position to contend. ↵

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↵(And that doesn't even factor in Boston's real rival this season -- the Angels. Although right now it isn't much of a rivalry, given the Angels beat the Red Sox for the 8th straight time, even with an 0-for-4 debut from trade-byproduct Mark Teixeira.) ↵

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↵The arms (or actually, bats) race -- particularly in the AL -- is reaching its culmination, yet there is one big bat sitting out there, available to anyone ... for nothing. Who will sign Barry Bonds? Because at this rate, it's going to happen: Red Sox, Yankees, Angels, even Marlins -- who couldn't use him for even that slight little edge that would make all the difference? ↵

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↵MLB Instant History: The Cubs own the Brewers. That's 3 in a row (in Milwaukee), with another quality start from a Cubs SP (Dempster: 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 9 K). ... The Phillies are doing their best (4 straight Ws) to ignore the Marlins' moves. ... Welcome back, Chris Carpenter. ... Aaron Cook: 14 wins. ... Griffey: One HR behind Top 5 all-time. ... Another shutout for the Dodgers (Chad Billingsley) and they actually nudge themselves over .500 (Dan Haren helps the D'backs keep pace). ... Record Watch: Ties most extra base hits in a game (5, Indians’ Kelly Shoppach). ... At this point, the only reason to track the Rangers is Josh Hamilton (25th HR, 104th RBI), but that seems like enough. ... Tim Hudson: Finished for the year? ↵

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↵Favre Watch: Meetings, waiting. Nothing (we know of) came of the Brett Favre-Mark Murphy summit in Mississippi. We do know that Roger Goodell didn't immediately approve Favre's reinstatement. He's no fool: The second he does that, the insanity really begins. ↵

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↵John Lynch is the new Brett Favre: He wants to leave the Broncos, either to play for another team or retire (at which point he would get a sweet media deal). End of an era for a Broncos fixture. ↵

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↵NASCAR: Randy Moss isn't just a NASCAR owner; he has convinced Jimmie Johnson to drive for him. Did he think he was signing the ex-coach? ↵

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↵NBA: Luol Deng signs for 6Y/$80M. Yeah, from Deng's perspective, that was worth waiting for. ↵

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↵CFB: You already know Pat White hinted that the West Virginia baseball coach is racist. So when your Heisman-contending, BCS-team-leading QB says something like that, the president of the university is best-served to personally look into it, not leaving it up to the athletic director. ↵

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↵Video of the Day: I can't resist footage of Michael Jordan playing, even against teenage campers. (If you want the "news" from the video, it's that MJ said of playing Kobe: "In my prime, not even a contest.") ↵

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↵Olympics: Western journalists covering the Olympics in Beijing who thought they could ignore repressive Chinese policies will now, in fact, be enabling them every time they log on to the Web. China's censorship will still be in effect, even for journos. ↵

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↵The Last Word: Manny must read the Wake-Up Call. ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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