The Dord of Darien

Musings from the Mayor of the Internet


Hahahahahaha no.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking "what my team needs is a 41-year-old hitter who can’t play defense, hasn’t hit for a damn since his second failed steroid test, and hasn’t even played in the majors in two years," right? Well, this yahoo has the airtight case!

It’s Time for Manny to Be Manny for the Texas Rangers

If you’re missing the backstory, the Rangers signed Manny Ramirez to a minor-league deal the other day. I doubt the Rangers are stupid enough to think anything will come of this, but it’s almost zero risk, and they’re utterly deadlocked with Oakland, so: why not?

That’s not what this guy thinks.

The Rangers signed outfielder Manny Ramirez to a minor league contract to possibly add some right-handed pop to the lineup. Ramirez was last seen playing in Taiwan earlier this season but walked away from that a couple of weeks ago.

Much like what he did to the last MLB team to give him a chance. This is not a point in his favour.

On the surface, this looks like a bad move. Ramirez is notoriously temperamental and has 2 PED-related suspensions on his ledger. He is an easy guy to dislike if you’re a baseball fan.

What? No, that’s super wrong. Manny is one of the easiest players for baseball fans to like, because he’s super super funny. He does the dumbest, most completely over-the-top things. Do you not remember this? It was 100% amazing. No, Manny is easy for fans to like. He is, however, super, super hard for team owners, managers, and general managers to like. I mean, even when he’s not beating them up.

Examine a little deeper and it looks like a coup for Rangers GM Jon Daniels. For the major league minimum, JD acquired arguably the greatest right-handed hitter of the last 20 years.

Albert Pujols, Frank Thomas, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Miguel Cabrera on lines 1 – 5 for you, Brian.

With all the accolades he’s received in his long career, Ramirez has nothing left to accomplish on the field.

He’s never been MVP. Not that he has a shot in France at that this season, mind you, but it’s a thing he never accomplished on the field. He’s never won a triple crown. He’s never even been borderline acceptable on defense. These are all things Manny Ramirez never accomplished.

Oh, also: he never demonstrated that he can hit shit when he’s not on the juice. There’s that too.

I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he took a job for the minimum salary and agreed to go to the minor leagues and prove himself all over again because he wants to play the game and he wants to help the Rangers win a pennant.

Yeah, that’s probably right. Cynical sportswriters like to pretend everything’s just about the money, but, honestly, these dudes really really love baseball. I have zero trouble believing that Manny took this deal because he just really wants to play in the Majors one more time.

Ramirez is 41 years old and not the player he once was, but even if he’s 50 percent of what he was in his prime, he’s better than what the Rangers are throwing out there now in the outfield (by that, I mean David Murphy).

Let’s take this literally, because that’ll be hilarious. I say we define Manny Ramirez’s "prime" arbitrarily to be from 1999 through 2008 — from his first season with an OPS over 1 through his last. Let’s see what Manny Ramirez would be good for in a full 162 games at half that level:

.160 / .210 / .305 with 22 HR (hard to do with .305 SLG, but there you are) and 49 BB (hard to do with .210 OBP, but: see above)

Sure, that’s a big damn cheat. Cutting his rates in half is pretty pessimistic. But you’re the dude what said 50%. And so far this season, Murphy’s posted .224 / .282 / .383 with 9 HR and 22 BB — not anything good, but better than 50% Manny. And also better than I’d be willing to bet the Rangers would get out of whatever Manny still is. He’s also been worth 6 Defensive Runs Saved, and Manny’s absolute best mark in his whole career was -5. And that was over a full season, not just a half like Murphy’s had.

And at DH, for that matter, where Lance Berkman has been a bit of a disappointment as far as power numbers.

Oh, are you not done? Berk Man: .263 / .360 / .390, 6 HR, 36 BB. Sure, not exactly driving the ball, but he’s getting on base. Half-a-Manny wouldn’t accomplish that.

He appears to have calmed down quite a bit from the bad boy image he projected in Boston and Los Angeles.

Yeah, probably this goes hand-in-hand with how he’s begging for a job now, rather than daring dudes to fire him.

Rangers manager Ron Washington is not exactly a strict disciplinarian out there, so Ramirez would probably for the most part police himself.

Right. I’m sure that will end well for everybody involved.

After this, he switches gears and describes it as a low-risk move with really long odds of paying dividends. Which is what it is. But holy shit is 41-year-old, presumably-no-longer-juicing Manny Ramirez not a good bet to be better than pretty much anybody. And your idea of putting him in the field is just downright silly.

July 4th, 2013 Posted by | Baseball | no comments