Manny Ramirez is like that petulant child of yours who you love to death but constantly does things that make you scratch your head or call for a time out. Of course, in Manny’s case, he does things on and off the field that have gotten him suspended (PEDs) or outright benched (in Boston a couple of years back). And in his last at-bat with the Dodgers the other day, he pinch-hit but got thrown out of the game after one pitch for pissing off the home plate umpire.
And now, the headache that is this manchild is heading to the Chicago White Sox from the Los Angeles Dodgers via an outright waiver claim to help push the former into the playoffs. The ChiSox currently sit four games behind Minnesota for the AL Central division lead.
For whatever reason, Sox GM Kenny Williams was willing to absorb all of the $3.8 million remaining on Manny’s contract this year, instead of letting the Dodgers pay off about $1 million of it in return for a low-level prospect. So the ChiSox plan on owning the risk of Manny not producing, being disruptive, or both, all by themselves.
Will Manny have much impact with the White Sox? I think not. All this guy cares about is hitting, and yes, he works harder at that than anything else, so I’ll give him that. As a DH batting fifth in a White Sox lineup that includes the power bats of Paul Konerko, Carlos Quention and others, he theoretically makes them a better team offensively.
But it’s his overall attitude, effort and durability that I question. He’s been on the disabled list three times this year and recently spent a whole month (July 20-August 20) there with a right calf strain. At age 38, I don’t think he has the stamina and mentality to take this White Sox team over the top. He might win them a few games with his bat (which has produced 40 RBI, 8 HR, and a .311 AVG in 66 games), but not much else. If the White Sox make the playoffs, it will be more about pitching than whatever Manny brings to the table.
But I’ll watch to see if I’m proven wrong, especially about a week from now when I go to Fenway Park to see Manny and the White Sox play in Boston. That will be a spectacle for sure, as will ChiSox manager Ozzie Guillen’s press conferences if and when he has to make excuses for his struggles – and Manny is only 2-for-13 since the All-Star break – or defend any of his “Manny Being Manny” moments. With the Red Sox not looking playoff-bound this year, at least another Sox team is. And it looks to be an ever more entertaining one at that.
Manny’s stint with the White Sox starts tonight in Cleveland against the lowly Indians.
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