Saturday, May 30, 2009

Kicking Manny When He's Down

It seems to be a popular sport in this country to shoot at people that are already on the ground. Manny Ramirez is on a 50 game forced hiatis due to a positive drug test. And after Manny is already facing the music of his own making, Gordan Edes has this to say:

"It has been commonly held against Alex Rodriguez(notes) that teams play better after he leaves. It happened in Seattle, where the Mariners won a record-tying 116 games in 2001 after he signed with Texas as a free agent, and it also was the case in Texas, where the Rangers improved by 18 games in the standings in 2005 after he was traded to the Yankees.

But if that’s going to be said of A-Rod, will we soon be making the same
observation about Manny Ramirez? Since Ramirez was suspended for 50 games on May 10, the Los Angeles Dodgers are 12-5, a .706 winning
percentage, even after a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs here Friday qfternoon that ended a four-game road winning streak.

Before the suspension, the Dodgers were 22-11, a .667 clip. Red Sox
officials, meanwhile, will gladly remind you that after trading Manny last season at the end of July, when they had their worst month of the year (13-16), they ran off their best two months of 2008, an 18-9 August and a 16-10 September.

Nice. If Edes thinks the Dodgers are a better team without Manny Ramirez, he's nuts (all due respect). The Dodgers have hit a total of nine homers since Manny departed seventeen games ago. That may be okay when facing the Diamondbacks and the Rockies of the world. But if and when they get to the playoffs and beyond, that won't cut it at all.

Also consider that Ramirez makes the lineup around him better. Ethier led the league in RBI early in the season. With Ramirez out, he's fallen like a rock in statistics. Pierre started hot in Manny's absence, but if you look at Pierre's lifetime stats, he'll settle back to where he's always been, which has never been nearly as good as Manny.

Say what you want about Manny Ramirez and kick the guy when he is down. But the Dodgers are a much better team when he is playing than when he is not. And Boston may have been good after he left them last year, but they are just so-so this year and the Red Sox lineup is not nearly as fearsome as it was.

And the Fan will leave with just one other thought: Would the Red Sox have lost to the Bay Rays in the playoffs last year if Manny was in the lineup? We'll never know, but this Fan doubts it.

1 comment:

Josh Borenstein said...

You're 100% right about the Dodgers. We saw the impact he had on that team last year. They were barely above .500 before they got Manny.

However, the Red Sox are much better than so-so. When the real Jon Lester and Josh Beckett appear, the Yankees will be in trouble. Plus, they've got John Smoltz looming on the horizon. Jason Bay has been an excellent replacement in left field.