Manny the Grill-a

A story was posted on the MLB.com web site that described an eBay auction. Normally Major League Baseball does not advertise for eBay so curiosity just got the best of me and I had to see what the story was about. The MySpace/Cliff Notes/PDA version of the story is basically that Boston Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez has decided to sell his gas barbeque because he just doesn’t have time to use it. Wow, now that is a shock. Ramirez is home all summer every night so you would think he could make some time to go out on the back patio and fire up the grill. And it’s not like this is one of those cheesy charcoal grills that you have to mess with lighter fluid, oh no, he has one of the state of the art 5-burner propane stainless-steel grills. This is one of those like you see every time you go into Home Depot and you try to explain to your wife why you just have to have a 55,000 BTU cooking appliance in your back yard. You tell her about how you have always dreamed of putting a half a cow on the rotisserie and then use your side burners to make a delicate sauce for basting. Now I don’t blame Manny for trying to recoup some of his costs on the grill. We have all made impulse purchases that we wished we could unload so we could forget about the lapse in judgment we had when we bought it. I know personally I am saddled with a Nordic-Flex home gym system that sits mockingly off my bedroom reminding me that I will never look like Chuck Norris and the closest thing to a six-pack stomach I will ever have will be when I rest a six-pack on my stomach while I reach for my wallet at the grocery store. No, my issue is in how Manny is going about his little auction.


Instead of posting a photo of the grill and letting the capitalist nature of eBay run its course, he stacked the deck. He took a picture of himself standing next to the grill in what looks like his neighbor’s garage. He is standing there grinning in front of the stainless steel masterpiece in outdoor cooking. Oh sure you could argue that having Manny stand next to the grill gives the picture a sense of scale so you knew how big the grill actually was. But in this photo, Manny is standing in front of the grill so you can’t even see the product you are buying. His description of the merchandise is kind of weak. What we know about it is that it is an “AMAZING grill” and that he bought it “for about $4,000 and I used it once”. There is no word on whether you get the propane tank or if the tank contains any gas. My gut feel is that the gas is not included since I am not sure I know of any transportation carriers that will ship flammable materials such as that. Speaking of transportation, Ramirez has set shipping at $70. I guess he figures he needs to cover the costs of his eBay seller’s fees somehow. It seems pretty clear that Manny has had plenty of time on the road to watch a few Infomercials as his ad sounds like something Ron Propeil would use. And to top it off, if you buy his grill, Manny will send you a free autographed baseball. Well, what are you waiting for, bid early and bid often!

The story was picked up by several news agencies and reporters began to ask Manny about the sale. In typical Manny-being-Manny speak he stated, “I’m a businessman. I’ve got to make a little money.” Who could blame the guy? I can only imagine how hard it is to make ends meet on a Red Sox player’s salary. So the grill was placed online with bidding starting at $4,000 which coincidently was about what Manny paid for it. Who knew that Jenn-Air outdoor appliances held their value so well? I mean it was used once so technically it was a used appliance. I wondered if I would fare as well if I bought a car, drove it home from the dealership set it in the garage and then tried to sell it a year later. Even if I threw in 2 baseballs with my autograph I am not sure I could anticipate selling the car for the same amount as I paid for it. Manny though did much better than that. Bidding opened and within the first little while Ramirez was looking at a respectable return on his investment. As the day went on things started getting out of hand. It became obvious that this auction became one of those curiosity auctions kind of like the guy who modeled the wedding dress of his ex-girlfriend and became an instant celebrity. The Jenn-Air grill was suddenly a hot commodity and by evening the bidding had reached $99,999,999. eBay finally pulled the plug on the auction a full week earlier than the closing date. Ramirez admitted that it really was not his grill, it was his neighbor’s and he was just trying to help him out. I am thinking maybe Manny offered to help the guy sell his grill in exchange Manny gets to keep the guy’s shovel and rake and can borrow his lawn mower when he is not on the road. Seems like a fair trade I guess. This isn’t the end of the saga though. A whole cottage industry has emerged and on eBay there are multiple sales for T-Shirts that proclaim, “I bought Manny Ramirez grill for $99,999,999!” You just have to love this country.


1 Comment

  1. Great info, thanks a lot!!! I wish I will have such a writing skills.

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