Manny Ramirez Needs More At-Bats? He Only Has Himself To Blame

Danny PenzaSenior Writer IApril 3, 2009

When Manny Ramirez thought that he was going to cash in during one of the worst economic periods our country has ever seen, almost everybody in the United States gave a collective, “what the hell is this guy thinking...again?”

Just days before Opening Day and after a frustrating outing against the rival Giants, LA’s favorite No. 99 other than Wayne Gretzky gave us even more reason to doubt how many brain cells are in that dread head of his.

"It's up to Joe (Torre), but I need the at-bats and I need to get in the outfield," the dreaded slugger said Wednesday. “Everybody is three weeks ahead of me and I'm trying to catch up, you know?”

To steal a line from one of my favorite characters on the silver screen Wayne Campbell, “Excuse me? Baking powder?” Are we starting to regret the notion that you would get that lovely $100 million deal that you so dearly coveted Man-Ram?

The point of Spring Training is to get you ready for the daily grind of a 162-game season. Even one the greatest of hitters needs those lovely at-bats in Surprise, Ariz. on a windy Wednesday afternoon to prepare your mind and body for the months ahead.

His spring numbers aren’t terrible at all. Only a .500 average in 22 at-bats. But say Manny gets off to a bad start, what do you think he will be saying? Not enough spring plate appearances perhaps?

Manny might have been bitter due to the fact he went three strikes and you’re out against the Giants’ top prospect Madison Bumgarner. I doubt that considering when San Francisco Chronicle beat writer Henry Schulman asked him about the 19-year-old southpaw, Man-Ram seemed to even know he existed until he stepped into the box.

Yet when Schulman posed the question of whether the dreads will face MadBum five years from now, Ramirez responded "You crazy. I'm not going to play that long.”

Excuse me, but wasn’t the whole reason why Scott Boras didn’t even think about agreeing to a contract for his prized dreadlocks was because there was no long-term offer out there?

I believe the opening bid Boras wanted to see for Ramirez four years and $100 million. That would mean plenty of at-bats against Bumgarner and every other young hurler for the Giros.

As Ricky Ricardo used to to say back in the day, you got some ‘splainin to do.

But as we all know, anything Manny does really isn’t logical.

Now that Barry Bonds is off and going to court every few months, Manny is the poster boy for the “I, I, I, me, me, me” generation of ballplayers. The world revolves around Manny in Manny’s head and for everybody else to accept that is just supposed to be assumed.

Maybe not entirely. But that’s what our boy Manny thinks.

He basically quit on a team that was the favorite to win the American League pennant, he not only thought he was the greatest thing since sliced bread, he’s now saying that he didn’t have enough time in Spring Training to be prepared for the regular season.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one who is confused.

For all of his greatness at the plate there’s an equal amount of the totally idiotic. The folks at the Four Letter Network have made him the lovable moron yet to the rest of us, he’s a complete and utter buffoon.

Yet Los Angeles loves it.

Will they get sick of it? Judging by the way last season went, Manny could miss an entire inning while using the facilities and if he hits home runs, that’s all that matters.

And if No. 99 t-shirt jerseys keep flying off the racks at Chavez Ravine, then maybe the Dodgers won’t really care either as long as they turn a profit on their $45 million investment.

Even though Manny is completely right, it will be overlooked. It’s the nature of the beast because, well, a lot of us journalists are lazy bums. Examining quotes and putting two and two together takes time.

And for some of us, time is something we would much rather be doing in front of the television watching reruns of Seinfeld and eating a five-dollar foot-long.

I just want to say to the San Francisco Giants management, while you may have saved me some time editorializing Manny rolling around in left field, you certainly saved me some money so I won’t be looking for Aspirin everyday.