Monday, August 30, 2010
Man(ny) For Hire
Some players get way too many passes. After spending the majority of the season on the DL and now being claimed off waivers on Friday, Manny Ramirez will be taking his talents over to the Chicago White Sox for the rest of the season. If you remember the Dodgers acquired Manny in a similar fashion back in '08, when Boston traded him to them after he spent a lot of time on the DL. There was speculation at the time if Manny was really injured, as he came to the Dodgers and put up MVP-caliber numbers. Whether this will be the case in Chicago is yet to be seen, but I wouldn't be shocked if Ramirez had a monster September and helped push the White Sox into the playoffs.
It's not difficult for a franchise to be enamored with Manny Ramirez. He has put up Hall Of Fame worthy numbers over the course of his long career. He is the type of hitter that opposing managers hate to see at the plate at critical points of the game and is rumored to be a decent teammate. Sure, you have to deal with the quirks of "Manny being Manny", but that's very little considering what he brings on the field. He stays out of legal trouble and fans love him. What gets lost in the fact that when Manny is unhappy, he has a tendency to force his way out of a team's favor. Ramirez proclaimed that he wanted to end his career in Los Angeles and managed to squeeze $45 million out of the Dodgers for 2 years. And what do the Dodgers get in return? 65 games on the disabled list, ending with a one pitch ejection during a pinch at-bat. Really, Manny?
Let's call it what it is. Manny Ramirez is the baseball equivalent of a mercenary and a master manipulator. He's very smart and still produces enough that another team will desire his services, but does just enough that his current team is willing to part ways with him. He is aging after turning 38 this summer and he isn't really able to play the outfield effectively anymore (not that he ever was, see here for examples), but I have a feeling Chicago will not be Manny's last stop. Let's not forget he will be a free agent again this summer and has always said he wanted to play for that famed franchise in NY. Don't be too surprised if you see Manny being Manny in pinstripes next season.