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Tag:Manny Ramirez
Posted on: January 7, 2012 4:13 pm
 

Report: Orioles, Jays to look at Manny Ramirez

By Matt Snyder

Could Manny Ramirez be headed back to the AL East? According to a report from ESPN Deportes (via Hardball Talk), the controversial slugger will soon hit in a batting cage for scouts from the Blue Jays and Orioles in Miami. He will be having a workout later this month for any interested clubs, so this might be a sign the Jays and O's are more serious than others.

Ramirez will have to serve a 50-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance last season -- before he retired it was set to be 100 games, but since he sat out basically all of last season it's been reduced to 50 -- before hitting the diamond.

Also, Ramirez isn't exactly young. He'll turn 40 before his 50-game suspension is completed.

When he's motivated and not suspended, Ramirez can probably still hit the ball. He was one of the best right-handed hitters of all-time for a long stretch. His career line of .312/.411/.585 with 555 home runs and 1,831 RBI would certainly be a lock to get him into the Hall of Fame had he not tested positive for PEDs twice.

He does have a history of "Manny Being Manny," well, everywhere, but one of his best moments of tomfoolery came in Camden Yards. See below.



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Posted on: December 17, 2011 5:55 pm
 

Homegrown Team: Cleveland Indians

Victor Martinez

By C. Trent Rosecrans


What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.

In the 90s, the Indians welcomed a new ballpark with a cast of homegrown talent and twice used that to go all the way to the World Series, losing to the Braves in 1995 and the Marlins in 1997. A core of Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, Albert Belle, Charles Nagy, Paul Shuey, Jaret Wright, Julian Tavarez and more helped that Cleveland team become a power in the middle part of the decade before the pieces moved on. Thome went to Philadelphia, Ramirez to Boston and others dispersed or saw their skills diminish as the window of opportunity passed. The current Indians saw the start of a new influx of talent in 2011 with the likes of Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall, but more talent needs to come out of the system for the Indians to continue the promise of the first half of the 2011 season. The franchise has shown smart drafting and good development can get them to October baseball, and that it's the best way for a team of their means to get there -- and return.

Lineup

1. Jason Kipnis, 2B
2. Marco Scutaro, SS
3. Victor Martinez, C
4. Jim Thome, DH
5. Jhonny Peralta, 1B
6. Luke Scott, LF
7. Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B
8. Ben Francisco, RF
9. Jose Constanza, CF

Starting Rotation

1. CC Sabathia
2. Fausto Carmona
3. Jeremy Guthrie
4. Bartolo Colon
5. Josh Tomlin

Bullpen

Closer - Vinnie Pestano
Set up - Tony Sipp, Aaron Laffey, Danys Baez, Edward Mujica, Rafael Perez, Brian Tallet

Notable Bench Players

There are some bit pieces, but not too much overwhelming talent coming off the bench. The best pieces are Maicer Izturis, Kevin Kouzmanoff and Russell Branyan.

What's Good?

This team could put up some runs, with a heart of the order featuring Martinez, Thome, Peralta and Scott, that's for sure. You've also got Sabathia leading the staff, and as the Yankees showed this past season, that can be enough to win the toughest division in baseball. Carmona is inconsistent, but still has a live arm, while Guthrie could thrive in a new environment and Colon proved he still has a little something in the tank during his 2011 season in New York. 

What's Not?

Even if this Indians staff is a slight bump up from the Yankees' of 2011, the bullpen is a step down -- and the bullpen was one of the big reasons New York was able to win with a rotation featuring Sabathia and prayers for rain. The bench here is also thin.

Comparison to real 2011

The Indians were one of the feel-good stories for much of 2011, leading the American League Central for most of the first half of the season before fading and finishing the season 80-82. This hypothetical team has a better offense, better starting pitching and a worse bullpen. It's in no way a complete team, but it would have a chance at a winning record. The Tigers finished 95-67, well ahead of anyone else in the division. No, this Cleveland team wouldn't challenge the Tigers, but it would likely be better than the real 2011 Indians.

Next: Miami Marlins

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Posted on: December 4, 2011 3:09 pm
Edited on: December 4, 2011 9:53 pm
 

Manny Ramirez wants to return to MLB

Manny Ramirez

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Manny Ramirez wants to return to baseball, but the real question may be, does baseball want Manny Ramirez?

Ramirez, 39, retired in April after he faced a 100-game suspension after his second violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment program. Major League Baseball announced Ramirez has applied to be reinstated from the retirement list. In addition, MLB announced Ramirez would only have to serve 50 games of his suspension if he is signed. 

Of course, it takes a team to take him before he could actually start his suspension, much less play. Ramirez not only has baggage, but also is limited to just designated hitter now, narrowing the market further for the slugger. He's also unlikely to be welcome in Boston, where he played from 2001-2008. The Rays could be somewhat interested in a return, while maybe the Orioles would be interested, since that seems to be the last stop for designated hitters before retirement and they're now lead by the man who signed Ramirez in Boston, Dan Duquette. Toronto could also be a possibility. Perhaps more likely, Ramirez could declare himself available and un-retired, but have no teams interested.

"Manny is always interesting and he’s never predictable, but I don't know too much about the mechanics of what we would have to do or if we could do it," Duquette told the Baltimore Sun. "Manny is always a lot of fun to be around and he is very entertaining." 

Ramirez managed just one hit -- a single -- in 17 plate appearances for the Rays in 2011. Last offseason, the Rays were the only taker on Ramirez and signed him to just a $2 million contract -- before the suspension. Any team signing him would likely sign him for much less.

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Posted on: December 4, 2011 3:09 pm
Edited on: December 4, 2011 9:53 pm
 

Manny Ramirez wants to return to MLB

Manny Ramirez

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Manny Ramirez wants to return to baseball, but the real question may be, does baseball want Manny Ramirez?

Ramirez, 39, retired in April after he faced a 100-game suspension after his second violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment program. Major League Baseball announced Ramirez has applied to be reinstated from the retirement list. In addition, MLB announced Ramirez would only have to serve 50 games of his suspension if he is signed. 

Of course, it takes a team to take him before he could actually start his suspension, much less play. Ramirez not only has baggage, but also is limited to just designated hitter now, narrowing the market further for the slugger. He's also unlikely to be welcome in Boston, where he played from 2001-2008. The Rays could be somewhat interested in a return, while maybe the Orioles would be interested, since that seems to be the last stop for designated hitters before retirement and they're now lead by the man who signed Ramirez in Boston, Dan Duquette. Toronto could also be a possibility. Perhaps more likely, Ramirez could declare himself available and un-retired, but have no teams interested.

"Manny is always interesting and he’s never predictable, but I don't know too much about the mechanics of what we would have to do or if we could do it," Duquette told the Baltimore Sun. "Manny is always a lot of fun to be around and he is very entertaining." 

Ramirez managed just one hit -- a single -- in 17 plate appearances for the Rays in 2011. Last offseason, the Rays were the only taker on Ramirez and signed him to just a $2 million contract -- before the suspension. Any team signing him would likely sign him for much less.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: October 29, 2011 12:03 am
Edited on: October 29, 2011 12:26 am
 

2011 World Series best in a decade

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Cardinals are the World Series champions, but for one of the few times in recent memory, baseball fans were rewarded with an exciting, entertaining World Series. Looking over the last 10 World Series, there have been some stinkers -- good storylines, but often better storylines than games. Here's looking at the last 10 World Series and ranking them by what happened on the field and on the field only, with 2011, of course, leading the way in a landslide.

1. 2011: Cardinals over Rangers in 7

MVP: David Freese
What it's remembered for: Well, we'll see -- it could be Chris Carpenter's gutty Game 7 effort, Albert Pujols' historic Game 3 performance, David Freese's Game 6 heroics, Tony La Russa's Game 5 blunders, the Cardinals' rally from being down to their last strike twice in Game 6 or even Mike Napoli's amazing series. It's probably too early to tell -- just like it's to early to tell where this one will fall in the list of all-time great series, but we do know for sure right now that it's the best we've seen in a while.



2. 2002: Angels over Giants in 7
MVP: Troy Glaus
What it's remembered for: With the Giants just eight outs from the title, manager Dusty Baker pulled Russ Ortiz with one out in the seventh after back-to-back singles. Baker handed Ortiz the game ball before sending him back to the dugout before Scott Spiezio hit a three-run homer off of Felix Rodriguez. The Angeles rallied for three more runs in the eighth inning to win 6-5 and went on to win Game 7 behind John Lackey.



3. 2003:
Marlins over Yankees in 6
MVP: Josh Beckett
What it's remembered for: Beckett started Game 6 on three days' rest and shutout the Yankees on five hits to clinch the title at Yankee Stadium.


4. 2009:
Yankees over Phillies in 6
MVP: Hideki Matsui
What it's remembered for: Long-time Yankee nemesis Pedro Martinez started Game 6 for the Phillies, but was taken out of the game after giving up four runs in the first four innings and took the loss, while Andy Pettitte recorded his record 18th career postseason victory. It was the last game Martinez would pitch in the majors.



5. 2010: Giants over Rangers in 5
MVP: Edgar Renteria
What its' remembered for: After missing most of the season with several injuries, Edgar Renteria hit a three-run home run off of Cliff Lee in the seventh inning of Game 5 that was enough for a 3-1 victory, clinching the Giants title. Renteria joined Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio and Lou Gehrig to have two series-winning hits.



6. 2005: White Sox over Astros in 4
MVP: Jermaine Dye
What it's remembered for: Like the other Sox, the White version had a long drought of its own broken, but White Sox fans never really whined as much as Red Sox fans so it was less celebrated. Although the White Sox swept the series, no game was decided by more than two runs, with Scott Podsednik hitting a walk-off homer in Game 2 off of Brad Lidge after the Astros rallied to tied the game with two runs in the ninth. Podsednik hadn't hit a home run in the entire 2005 regular season, but it was his second of the postseason.



7: 2008: Phillies over Rays in 5
MVP: Cole Hamels
What it's remembered for: Rain. Game 3 was delayed for an hour and a half, while Game 5 was started on Oct. 27 and suspended in the top of the sixth inning with the score tied at 2. The game was completed two days later with the Phillies winning 4-3. It was the first suspended game in World Series history.


8. 2004:
Red Sox over Cardinals in 4
MVP: Manny Ramirez
What it's remembered for: Because the Red Sox broke the Curse of the Bambino, the series itself is remembered more fondly than the play on the field merited. Despite Boston's complete domination of the series and an early 3-0 lead in Game 4 (to go along with the 3-0 series lead at the time), for many Red Sox fans, it wasn't until Keith Foulke flipped the ball to Doug Mientkiewicz for the final out did they believe the Red Sox would actually win the series. (There's also the whole Curt Schilling bloody sock episode that would be in this spot if it weren't for that whole curse thing).


9. 2007:
Red Sox over Rockies in 4
MVP: Mike Lowell
What it's remembered for: Dustin Pedroia led off Game 1 in Boston with a home run and the series kind of followed suit from there. Boston trailed only once in the entire series -- falling behind 1-0 in the first of Game 2, only to win that game 2-1.



10. 2006:  Cardinals over Tigers in 5
MVP: David Eckstein
What it's remembered for: How bad was this series on the field? Well, there were 12 errors committed in the five games and three of the five games featured errors by both teams. There was a game pushed back by rain and the most memorable moment was probably a guy washing his hands. In Game 2, the drama (aided by Tim McCarver's yapping) was the mystery of a mixture of dirt and rosin on Kenny Rogers' hand in the first inning. He went on to pitch eight shutout innings and allowed just two hits in the Tigers' only victory of the series.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.





Posted on: September 30, 2011 3:17 pm
 

Manny Ramirez charged with domestic violence

By Matt Snyder

More Manny
Former Indians, Red Sox and Dodgers star Manny Ramirez has been formally charged with misdemeanor domestic violence and battery by the Broward State Attorney's Office, according to TMZ.com. The charges stem from a September 12 arrest, when Ramirez allegedly slapped his wife, causing her head to bang against the headboard of their bed. She then called police as she reportedly feared the situation would escalate. When police arrived they took Ramirez under arrest.

Ramirez, 39, retired after playing five games this season for the Rays when he learned he failed a second drug test and would be forced to serve a 100-game suspension. The 12-time All-Star has 555 career home runs, two World Series rings and won the 2004 World Series MVP. His resume on paper says he's a sure-fire Hall of Famer, but the two positive drug tests could very well cost him. In addition to the four teams mentioned above, Ramirez also played for the White Sox.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Category: MLB
Posted on: September 22, 2011 6:34 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2011 6:38 pm
 

Ramirez willing to serve ban to play baseball

Ramirez

By Evan Brunell

Manny Ramirez is hoping to be reinstated to the major leagues, telling ESPN Deportes he would serve his 100-game suspension after refusing to do so in April and opting for retirement.

"I would comply with my pending sanction and I would be available for any major league team," Ramirez said. "I already informed [agent] Scott Boras of my decision to return and begin the process.

Ramirez tested positive in a drug test earlier this season as part of baseball's drug program that bands steroids, amphetamines and other performance enhancers. It was his second failed test, as he was linked to a female fertility drug in 2009 used to conceal steroid use. He served a 50-game ban that season with the Dodgers, later moving to the White Sox at the end of 2010 before signing a contract with the Rays in the offseason. When caught in April, he told baseball that he would rather retire than serve the ban. Clearly, he's changed his mind now that he's had time to reflect.

"If any team wants to sign me, I would play," Ramirez said. "If no one does, I would look to play in Japan or any other place. I was not prepared for retirement."

There are negatives that could prevent a team's interest. Ramirez would only be able to offer a maximum of 62 games out of Ramirez in production, returning in early August next season after not having played a major-league game for almost a year and a half at that point. Teams will also have to contend with Ramirez's attitude, and at this point is easily comparable to Barry Bonds and the overall distaste that pervaded Bonds so much that he eventually drew zero interest from teams despite indications he could still be an effective player.

However, drug suspensions are without pay, so the team wouldn't lose any cash in taking a lark on Ramirez, so you can expect at least one team to do so because it's a classic low-risk, low-reward system as long as the organization is comfortable with being known as the team that gave Ramirez a job after he seemingly burned every last bridge he had by leaving Tampa Bay high and dry by first breaking the rules and then leaving the team rather than serve the suspension. The Rays, whose playoff hopes are dwindling with a 2 1/2 game deficit in the wild card with a week left in the season, could have really used Ramirez's bat down the stretch even if he wouldn't have hit to the level of his glory days.

Ramirez was interested in playing for the Dominican Winter League, a stop he last played at in 1993-94, but is unable to do so because MLB has an agreement with the league. As a result, Ramirez must serve the suspension before he can participate in the DWL, and that is an impossibility for this season. Ramirez must receive permission from commissioner Bud Selig before he can join up with another club.

"I'm really interested and enthusiastic about playing baseball [in the Dominican Republic], but I can't control the future,'' Ramirez said. "Let's just wait and see what's the outcome of that meeting; it would be really sad if I'm not allowed to play.''

Even if Selig isn't predisposed to helping ManRam and no MLB team touches him with a 10-foot pole, you can bet Japan will be interested. The amount of hype around Ramirez would be large in Japan, as they would be able to see a true bona-fide MLB star play in the Japanese baseball league. Two drug suspensions or not, that would be a feather in the cap for Japanese professional ball.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 22, 2011 10:33 am
 

Pepper: Moneyball the talk of baseball

Scott Hatteberg

By C. Trent Rosecrans

With the Moneyball movie, I've gone from skeptical to excited to disappointed to indifferent to cautiously optimistic -- and I still haven't seen it.

It's all anyone's talking about, of course, even though we do have two good races going for the wild card right now, the tale of a team that lost in the first round of the playoffs is apparently more interesting because Brad Pitt is involved. Pitt, who usually graces the cover of supermarket checkout magazines, is even on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week. I don't expect to see him on the front of Baseball America, but I wouldn't be shocked if he were.

Or at least those of us with keyboards. I've heard reviews all over the board -- from those too close who go against the grain and hate everything to those who are indifferent and those who loved it. I've heard people named in the book (and movie) who thought it was awful and a complete work of fiction and others who show up as characters who say it does a great job of showing what it was like. It just goes to show that perception differs much more than reality.

One of those who says good things about it is Scott Hatteberg, who is played by Chris Pratt in the movie (both are pictured above, with the real-life Hatteberg on the right).

"It caused the hair to rise on the back of my neck," Hatteberg told Baseball Prospectus' John Perrotto.

When I covered Hatteberg, he was one of my favorite guys to interview because of his insight to the game -- and his outside interests. I ran into him at a Wilco concert once and we'd often talk music and movies. He's also extremely intelligent and while I used to say I could see him as a manager (and still could), now he's working in the A's front office and I could easily see him as a general manager.

Hatteberg's one of the reasons I want to see the movie, with the portrayal of scouts as simpletons relying on outdated methods to judge players and the oversimplification of saber metric principals as reasons I'm skeptical. 

The scene in the preview with David Justice having to put money in a Pepsi machine is the one that makes me cringe the most -- it's total fiction, as Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News points out in this handy true-false scorecard on the movie -- and makes me wonder if I'll be one of those watching just to point out inaccuracies as opposed to just sitting back and trying to enjoy the movie as a whole. Sometimes that's tough -- any time I see a press conference where reporters start clapping usually make me hate just about the best of movies. A little knowledge on a  subject can help when enjoying a movie, but more info can totally ruin it.

Either way, I guess they'll get my money and isn't that all that matters?

Just a touch: One of the biggest differences between the movie and the book is that Paul DePodesta didn't want his name used, so instead there's a fictionalized character, Peter Brand, who plays the DePodesta part. While Jonah Hill doesn't resemble DePodesta physically, his character hits the nail on the head, the Los Angeles Times' Bill Plaschke writes.

Monty got a raw deal: Even if it appears NotDePodesta was portrayed well in the movie, its main villain, Grady Fuson is not portrayed accurately, according to Mac Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The foil for Billy Beane in the movie, Fuson -- now back with the A's -- is portrayed as a bit of a dope and dinosaur. In the movie, Beane even fires Fuson, when in fact Fuson was hired away by the Rangers, something that Beane was not happy about at the time.

Strange: The Dodgers are a mess, but that may not preclude them from making some big waves in the offseason, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. If the Dodgers are in play, that suddenly makes them a team to watch for either of the two big free agent first basemen, Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols. The team could also look to lock up Matt Kemp.

So fast, so numb: Of the 30 teams that have won at least 100 games from 1980 to 2010, only four have won the World Series -- the Yankees in 1998 and 2009, the 1986 Mets and the 1984 Tigers. Of those 30, only 11 made the World Series.  Since 1986, three teams with fewer than 88 wins have won the Series -- the 2006 Cardinals (83), 2000 Yankees (87) and 1987 Twins (85). The Phillies (98) and the Yankees (95) are the only two teams with a shot at 100 wins this season. [San Francisco Chronicle]

Sitting still: Blue Jays rookie Brett Lawrie won't play again this season after breaking his right middle finger on Wednesday. Lawrie suffered the injury before Wednesday's game, fielding ground balls. [MLB.com]

Binky the doormat: Cubs manager Mike Quade says he thinks he'll be back in 2012. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Departure: Although unlikely to return to the Orioles, Vladimir Guerrero wants to return in 2012, and beyond. Guerrero would like to play "two or three" more years, he told the Baltimore Sun. Guerrero is three hits away from all-time Dominican hit-leader, Julio Franco, who has 2,586 hits. He's also just one homer away from 450.

Finest worksong: Cardinals hitting coach Mark McGwire says the team's communication has been a key feature to its offense. The team has stressed that players need to be in the dugout talking after at-bats instead of going straight to the video room. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

Endgame: Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez will explore free agency, even if the Cubs pick up their part of the $16-million mutual option, which is unlikely anyway. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Moral kiosk: Marlins president David Samson tried to help the victim of a traffic accident while on his way to the team's new park on Wednesday. Samson was lauded for his attempts to help the victims, but he deflected any praise. [Miami Herald]

Everybody hurts: Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes was scratched from his scheduled start against the Rays on Wednesday and the rest of his season is in doubt. An MRI revealed his back spasms were actually inflammation from a herniated disk he first suffered in 2004. Hughes may be done for the season, but the team hopes he can return as soon as this weekend. [New York Post]

Hairshirt: The new Marlins logo received "mixed" reviews, according to the Miami Herald. That sounds generous. My favorite comment from my twitter feed was that it looked like someone "vomited Skittles." Former Marlin Dan Uggla was asked about his opinion of the new logo and said he wasn't a big fan. When asked more specifically what was wrong with it, he answered "everything."

The one I love: While the Marlins are going in a totally new direction for their new logo, the Blue Jays are apparently going back to the past for their new logo. Don't expect too many complaints (although there will be some, it's the internet, there are always complaints). [The Score]

New test leper: Because of MLB's relation with the Dominican winter league, Manny Ramirez will not be eligible to play in his native land this winter as he'd hoped. [ESPN.com]

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com