Quantcast 2009 Los Angeles Dodgers: Manny and the Dodgers
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What About The Ramirez Factor??

There are many topics of interest when appraising the 2009 Dodgers. These include the young, but mostly proven pitching staff, an attack that is supposed to be one of the finest in baseball, an improved defense with the addition of free agent second baseman Orlando Hudson, who also happens to be an expert at getting on base (.367 OBP last season), and who is going to make up the final 40-man roster.

LA Dodgers hats Strange that no one seems to be mentioning the possible detrimental effect of that future Hall-of Famer Manny Ramirez. After eight stellar seasons in Cleveland and another 7 ½ almost equally outstanding seasons in Boston, Ramirez was traded from the Red Sox to the Dodgers at the July 31 deadline last year in a three-way deal sending leftfielder Jason Bay to Fenway Park and two minor leaguers to the Pirates. As a New England resident, this writer watched last year as Ramirez purposely played his way out of Boston. He frequently failed to hustle after fly balls and run out grounders, stuffed cloth towels down a clubhouse toilet, complained of being hurt when many thought he was not, and, as Red Sox reliever Jonathan Papelbon said last month, was like cancer and on a different page from the rest of the team. All for one was Manny’s motto.

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Why Ramirez performed this way was no secret. He was in the final year of his long-term Red Sox contract and did not want the club to exercise its option of keeping him another year or two at $10 million a year. Manny and his agent wanted much more money than that and to do so meant getting as far away from Boston as possible. One can’t get much farther from Beantown than LA. So he played his heart out for the Dodgers, and when Manny tries there is no better hitter. He batted .396 in 53 games, drove in exactly a run a game, belted 17 homers in 187 at bats and posted amazing .743 and .489 slugging and on-base percentages. He spurred the Dodgers to the NL West championship and recently signed a two-year, $45 million a year deal. So, by deliberately not giving his best to the Red Sox, he made $35 million a year more with the Dodgers. Doesn’t seem fair, does it?? The Dodgers would do well to realize that they may get the Red Sox Manny of 2008 this season now that he has signed his contract.



By: Bob Trostler
Los Angeles Dodgers Correspondent

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