Manny Ramirez: Why Would the Oakland Athletics or Any Team Sign Him?

Gary BurzellCorrespondent IIIFebruary 17, 2012

ST. LOUIS - JULY 18: Manny Ramirez #99 of the Los Angeles Dodgers sits in the dugout against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on July 18, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Every now and then something happens in the sports world that just leaves me shaking my head in wonder. Today I am wondering why any Major League Baseball team would give Manny Ramirez another chance.

When I read on that the Oakland Athletics have a strong interest in signing the slugger, I had to read the story again to make sure I had the correct Ramirez in mind.

Why? Why would any team sign him? That was the first thought I had after realizing I had the correct player in mind.

As a true-blue Dodgers fan it doesn't really affect me in any way if a team signs Ramirez, but after the way he let my team down, and the lack of productivity he had in Tampa Bay last season—1-17 (.059) in five games—I was flabbergasted to see that any team would have interest in him.

Well, that and the fact he has been suspended by MLB twice now for violating baseball's drug policy.

In the story it says:

Oakland recently sent representatives to Florida to observe workouts by Ramirez, who retired from the Tampa Bay Rays last season rather than serve a 100-game suspension. For Ramirez, this could become a chance to help repair his reputation and serve as a positive clubhouse influence on a young team—that's what the Oakland brass hopes, anyway.

I had to reread the second sentence in that paragraph to be sure I had read it correctly. A chance for Ramirez to be a 'positive' clubhouse influence?

Did I read that right? I mean really, Ramirez has never been a positive clubhouse influence for younger players, there is a reason for the popular phrase, "That is Manny being Manny."

If I was the owner of an MLB team, the last person I would want in my clubhouse with a chance to influence my younger players is someone who has been suspended twice for violating baseball's drug policy.

Even if he was capable of hitting 40 home runs this season (which I really doubt he could) I wouldn't want him on my team, it just isn't worth taking the chance that he will do something to embarrass the team, and MLB again.

If you look at his time as a member of the Dodgers one thing is pretty clear. Before he was suspended he was very productive at the plate, and helped the Dodgers win a lot of games, and made it exciting to go to a game at Dodger Stadium in the process.

But after his suspension? Well, he wasn't very productive at the plate, and was more of a nuisance to have on the team than it was worth.

As far as home runs? Well he hasn't had the power to hit many of those since his first suspension, and since leaving the Dodgers he has hit exactly one home run.

With all his suspensions and issues Ramirez has now had almost two seasons away from baseball, and I doubt he will be able to hit many home runs for any team now. And even if there are no rainouts, the first game Ramirez would be eligible to play is June 2 at Kansas City.

So my suggestion for A's fans? Call and write your GM and owner and tell them to wise up and not sign Ramirez. He isn't worth taking the chance on at any price.