July 28, 2014

Thoughts on the Exit of Manny Ramirez

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

Is the Manny Ramirez Era Coming to a Close?

It’s becoming more and more likely that general manager Ned Colletti and the Dodgers are going to put Manny Ramirez on waivers as early as today, clearing the first hurdle to his eventual departure from Los Angeles.

The move is the equivalent of the Dodgers waiving the white flag in the 2010 season (something that one could argue has been over for weeks), and allows the Dodgers to recoup the remainder of his salary for the year.

If Manny does clear waivers, the Dodgers are free to trade him to any team of their choosing.  However, Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweeted this morning that the White Sox plan to claim Ramirez.  But before that could happen we have to get through the entirety of the secretive waivers process and another team may end up the winner.  As Dylan Hernandez notes, National League teams have the first priority, then American League teams.  If there are multiple claims from the same league, the team that has the worst record gets priority and wins the claim.

If Manny is claimed, the Dodgers would most likely would only receive about $4 million (the remainder due on his $20 million salary), instead of maybe cash and a marginal prospect or two.  But in the end does it really matter?  The season is over and Manny is one of the few chips the Dodgers have to deal, given his upcoming free agent status.  I have no doubt that Manny will also waive his no-trade clause so that he can once again insert himself on the national stage as he makes a run at a new contract in 2011 (presumably in the American League as a designated hitter).

Interestingly, if the White Sox were successful in claiming Ramirez, that could create an outfield of former Dodgers’ including Manny Ramirez, Andruw Jones and Juan Pierre.  How crazy would that be?

While the second half of Manny’s tenure with the Dodgers left a lot to be desired, the electricity “Mannywood” brought with his arrival in LA (both on and off the field) was something rarely seen in Chavez Ravine in recent years, and something the fans will not soon forget.  If this is goodbye, then good luck, Manny.  It was fun while it lasted.

Red Sox Fans Want Manny Ramirez!

The regular season series that Dodger fans are most excited about in 2010 is understandably when the New York Yankees come to town.  One series that may be a bit overlooked is when the Dodgers go on the road to play the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park from June 18-20, 2010.

According to a recent poll conducted by the New England Sports Network:

Sixty-eight percent of respondents to the NESN.com Question of the Day tabbed hosting the Dodgers the most enticing, while 11 percent looked forward to the San Francisco Giants on the road. Hosting the Phillies rounded out the voting with 21 percent.

And like you would expect, the Boston media is cynical that Manny will even play:

You never know what injuries are lurking in the hitting savant’s body, and no one would put it past him to avoid having to return to Fenway Park.

Personally, even if he’s still not talking to the media, I would think Manny would be excited to return to Fenway Park and show them what he can still do.  Either way, it should be an entertaining series!

Photo Credit: Jon SooHoo / LA Dodgers 2010

He’s Baaaaack!

Fans of the Dodgers on Twitter have been buzzing this morning with the news from MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick that Manny Ramirez is in camp.  In my opinion, one of the best moments of this offseason is one that we haven’t seen: Manny Ramirez.  I love that Manny hasn’t been his normal boistrous self since the season ended …I’ve secretly been hoping that this means that he’s preparing for an epic season in a contract year.  Manny arriving early to Camelback Ranch is just another encouraging sign that my wish may come true.

Oh, and speaking of Twitter, don’t forget to follow us @dodgerfan_net to get our take on the latest Dodgers news throughout the season!

PS – how great would it be to have Manny on Twitter?

Manny Ramirez: A Wanted Man?

photo: Ray Stubblebine/Reuters

Saw a tweet from Diamond Leung linking to Bob Keisser’s column in today’s Long Beach Press Telegram.  According to Bob, there apparently is some interest from one team in Manny Ramirez:

A baseball insider says the club has been contacted by an American League team that is interested in Manny Ramirez if the team will pay part of his $20 million salary for 2010.

It’s a team that plays in a very mediocre division, has a few team officials familiar with Ramirez, and always needs a bump in notoriety.

Hmm.  Now I know Manny Ramirez didn’t perform on the field as he did before his 50-game suspension this year, but he’s still a worthwhile piece in the Dodgers’ puzzle and can provide some pop in the cleanup spot that Juan Pierre cannot.  And remember, Manny always seems to perform at his best when he’s in a contract year and people are doubting him.  I also think he’s a valuable clubhouse presence in 2010 when these young Dodgers seek to get over the emotional hurdles from losing to the Phillies for two consecutive years in the NLCS.

All that said, I’m open to consideringmoving Manny, but to even consider this, Ned & Company will need to bring in a big bat to replace Manny’s slot in the lineup.  Hey, it’s always nice to have options, right?  My great fear is that the McCourt divorce saga could cause Frank to move Manny for bogus reasons (like moral grounds given Manny’s past transgressions…when has Frank ever showed that he cared about the morality behind Manny’s past mistakes?) when he’s really just looking to save some cash.  After all, Manny Ramirez is no Andruw Jones, and paying part of Ramirez’s salary while he’s on another team and then going back to an outfield of Kemp, Ethier and Pierre for 2010 is simply unacceptable.  Here’s hoping that I’m not jumping to inaccurate conclusions, but I don’t think it’s wrong to speculate at this point given the tumultuous off-season so far.

Now who is this mystery team?  Could it really be Ramirez’s original team, the Cleveland Indians?  A mediocre AL divison is obviously the AL Central and the Indians could use some help after the embarrasment of watching two of their former pitchers start Game 1 of the World Series. 

Froom MLB Trade Rumors:

Did the Twins, Tigers, White Sox, Indians, or Royals express interest in Manny?  Indians GM Mark Shapiro crossed paths with Ramirez.  The Tigers’ David Chadd worked for the Red Sox when Manny was there.  Do any of the other teams have officials familiar with the slugger?  In general, do you buy this rumor?

Not sure I do right now, but it’s an intriguing question as the Hot Stove League begins to simmer…

Photo Credit: Ray Stubblebine/Reuters