And with a whimper, the Manny Ramirez Era came to a close at Dodger Stadium last week as Manny was thrown out while arguing a first pitch strike with the bases loaded, unleashing a long frustrated sigh from Dodger fans everywhere.
Ramirez was subsequently waived on Wednesday and claimed on Friday by the White Sox. Mysteriously, he hardly played during the critical weekend series. I’m not a big believer in conspiracy theories (although my recent favorite rumor is that the Dodgers planned all along to waive Manny, as they knew he would be claimed and the money they would receive in return for the aging slugger would equal a good chunk of what they promised to first round draft pick Zach Lee).
But I do think that Torre’s decision to play Ramirez so sparingly over the weekend had everything to do with making sure Manny was healthy enough to complete the transaction. Remember, Manny does have a recent track record of quirky injuries that send him to the DL, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Colletti had the same conversation with Torre after putting Ramirez on waivers. Just my opinion, so take that for what it’s worth.
Per the Dodgers official press release:
Ramirez was originally acquired on July 31, 2008 from the Boston Red Sox in a trade deadline move and then re-signed the following March. Over parts of three seasons with the Dodgers, Ramirez hit .322 with 44 homers, 156 RBI and a .580 slugging percentage in 223 games.
But as noted earlier, Manny Ramirez brought an electricity and excitement to Dodger Stadium that can’t be measured simply in numbers. I’m going to miss the guy, and hope Colletti & Co. can bring that level of buzz back to Chavez Ravine, very, very soon.
Photo Credit: Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2010