November 1, 2014

LAT: Manny Ramirez Headed to Minors on Tuesday

Our Friend Dylan Hernandez is reporting that Manny should be headed to the minors on Tuesday (assuming his recent flu-like symptoms and weight loss don’t reappear).

From the L.A. Times:

Manny Ramirez is tentatively scheduled to return to the field on Tuesday in New Mexico, according to baseball sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter.

Ramirez, who is in the final weeks of a 50-game suspension for violating baseball’s drug policy, will be with the Dodgers’ triple-A affiliate in Albuquerque for a four-game series that runs from June 23-26. His next stop will be with Class-A Inland Empire in San Bernardino for a three-game series from June 28-30.

I’d really like to see if I can find out from he Dodgers organization how many press credentials are requested for those series in Albuquerque and Inland Empire as opposed to the usual figures. We’ll see if we can get the numbers from the Dodgers PR Team!

Philly Fans Getting Riled Up Over Manny Ramirez’s All-Star Votes

ballots

Update:

the latest voting results (6/1) show Manny in 5th place for an outfield spot with 635,530 votes. He trailed Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun (908,745), Philadelphia’s Raul Ibanez (817,849), the Cubs’ Alfonso Soriano (775,319) and 1st place vote getter Carlos Beltran (741,875). Milwaukee’s Mike Cameron was sixth, about 100,000 back.

Those Philly fans are an ornery bunch just about all the time. Try showing up to an Eagles bar wearing anything other than a green NFL jersey on Sunday and see how you are treated.

These days, however, their ire is directed squarely at one Manny Ramirez. That’s because Manny is still a leading candidate to start in left field for the NL team. That leaves the Phillies’ Raul Ibanez, who is having a stellar season, out in the cold. Ramirez has a comfortable 50,000 vote lead as of Sunday, even though he is currently serving a 50-game suspension courtesy of Major League Baseball.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating for Manny Ramirez to get the starting slot ahead of Ibanez. The Phillies’ left-fielder is 36 and playing one of his best seasons ever. Through 49 games, Ibanez is batting .333 with 17 home runs, 46 RBIs, 40 runs, and 4 stolen bases. Ibanez is a serious standout in the NL right now (regardless of position) and should be recognized for his achievements.

However, we get to the crux of the issue that irks Philly fans so much these days – the voting system that powers everything from American Idol to the All-Star Game…the popular vote! Popular voting doesn’t guarantee that “All-Stars” will actually play in the game – it merely ensures that the most popular players for any given position are selected.

Ever since Sanjaya practaically made it to the 4th place spot on American Idol, we’ve learned all to well how the popular vote can be used for evil as well as good. The drama that unfolds is pretty captivating – as Sunday’s Philadelphia Enquirer showed us. Take a look at the first selection from the mailbag addressed to John Gonzales:

How can Manny Ramirez be suspended for 50 games and still be ahead of Raaaaaaaul Ibanez by 50,000 votes in the all-star voting? I know a name carries a player in voting, but this system is really ridiculous. I don’t care if the Phillies make the All-Star Game. I just worry of the integrity of the game itself.

– Mike

Mike,

You’re absolutely right. It’s crazy that Manny isn’t even playing and yet he’s way ahead of Ibanez – a guy who’s having arguably the best season of anyone in the National League right now.

I wouldn’t worry about the game, though. Whatever “integrity” MLB had vanished when it shipped a bunch of fools and liars to D.C. to talk about steroids with some other fools and liars.

These days, baseball focuses less on integrity than it does on the ballpark experience. MLB is about summer evenings at the park and Dollar Dog Nights and beach blanket giveaways. Just go with it.

– Gonzo

Wait a minute…since when did integrity come in to play here? Has the All-Star Game voting been compromised in some fashion? Did officials from some big accounting firm get it wrong somehow? Has MLB let us down by changing the rules on how the All-Star Game’s players are determined?

The answer to the last three questions above is NO. Fans have decided that the All-Star game should be more about celebrity and popularity then about statistics from the first half of the season. They are voting for the person they want to see (and see perform) during the game – and so far that person is Manny Ramirez, not Raul Ibanez.

You know who isn’t complaining right now (other than Manny Ramirez)? The Fox Broadcasting company, who will surely get better ratings with Manny in the lineup than Raul Ibanez

Manny Sneaks In While Team Hits The Road

Well, Manny Ramirez decided to show up and do a little of that batting practice that Frank McCourt asked Manny to do…only he decided to do it (conveniently) while the team was on the road.

Huh?

I guess that’s better than nothing, but it speaks volumes about Manny’s interest in listening to the team and playing an appropriately active role while being suspended. Is taking batting practice and running the bases in Dodger Stadium (when no one is there) any better than staying away and continuing his regimen? I believe it’s actually worse, since he seems, more than ever, to be snubbing his teammates and the front office.

What’s the reaction of fans? To vote him into the All-Star game, of course! As of today, Manny is #4 in the voting with Where is Manny at in the voting with 1,213,423 votes. If he does end up getting sent to the All-Star game, can you imagine what his behavior will be like post-suspension?

I am bracing for the aftermath already…

Manny Ramirez Snubs Frank McCourt’s Suspension Requests

I don’t make a habit of reading the Boston Globe, but the recent Red Sox struggles against the Mets have made for some interesting reading (especially the fan comments) :)

While perusing the Globe, I did notice a small update on Manny’s progress against Frank McCourt’s Requests while he is out on suspension. Unfortunately, there isn’t much to report other than Manny has elected to skip all of what McCourt asked him to do other than apologize to the team.

In fact, Ramirez has flat-out rejected apologizing to fans for the incident thus far, simply saying, “I’m not ready.”

Welcome to Manny Being Manny and our latest chapter in a book full of love-hate experiences and off-the-field wishes that almost never come true.

The 25 million dollar man is either not getting good advice or refusing to listen to whatever advice is being presented to him. Either way, the end result is not good – the Dodgers are learning that they can do without Manny – something infathomable at the end of last season

McCourt’s requests seem simple enough:
1. Show remorse
2. Take batting practice
3. Continue to mentor the young bats
4. Address the team

So far, he has addressed the team…and promptly disappeared.

Do The Dodgers (or Alyssa) Really Welcome Manny being Manny?

Do The Dodgers (or Alyssa) Really Welcome Manny being Manny?

The 25 million dollar man is either not getting good advice or refusing to listen to whatever advice is being presented to him. Either way, the end result is not good – the Dodgers are learning that they can do without Manny – something infathomable at the end of last season.

Sure, there is no one power hitter who can replace Manny in the lineup. However, The Dodgers offense has come on strong after the first five games of Manny’s suspension and hasn’t looked back since. In addition, Frank McCourt will likely get most of the business benefits he planned on when re-signing Manny without having to pay the full $25 million (see previous story here).

Manny, if I were you I’d get on that “honey do” list that Frank sent your way before you outlive your usefulness to the only team that was willing to give you a reasonable contract in the offseason.

MLB Power Rankings and Life Without Manny

The Dodgers are #2 on the MLB Power Rankings by CBS (beat out by the Blue Jays…the Blue Jays!!!). Interesting quick analysis of the first five games without Manny versus the following five games. Clearly the team is settling down and other talent is stepping up. Now, if someone could just explain the Blue Jays atop the power rankings to me…