The Los Angeles Dodgers are considered to be the best team in baseball this year. They have the best record in the league at 67-43 and lead the NL West by 6.5 games. They are driven by a host of young stars who all revolve around one tainted veteran, Manny Ramirez. Players like Matt Kemp, James Loney, and Andre Ethier shine in a Dodger’s lineup that contains Manny.
When Ramirez was suspended 50 games for testing positive for PEDs in early May, one of those young stars declined dramatically, and that is what I call “The Manny Effect.”
I have heard about Right Fielder Andre Ethier since before he was a household name in Los Angeles. My younger brother is an avid fan of Arizona State baseball, and Ethier was the star of the team that he followed. My brother has followed his career, all the while collecting memorabilia from baseball cards to game used jerseys and bats. Even though he is as much of a Phillies fan as I am, he still would root for Ethier when he played against us.
So far this season, Andre Ethier has had some of the most memorable late inning heroics in baseball. He has five walk off hits, four of which are home runs, and two of which came against the Phillies in back to back games. The most recent of these walk offs came two nights ago in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Atlanta Braves when Ethier hit a three run shot into the night to win the game for the Dodgers by a score of 5-4. That’s what happens when you fall behind 2-0 in the count and throw a pitch over the middle because you would rather throw that to Ethier than allow the man behind him, Manny Ramirez, to step up to the plate.
Manny’s presence in the lineup has been very significant to Andre Ethier, and his performance shows it. Ethier has played in 59 games this season with Manny in the lineup and in 48 games without Manny due to his suspension. The statistics I compiled on Ethier during both of these times shows the Manny Effect.
59 Games with Manny Ramirez in the Lineup
.314 BA 14 HR 47 RBI 34 BB 36 K
48 Games without Manny Ramirez in the Lineup
.222 BA 9 HR 25 RBI 16 BB 42 K
As you can see, Ethier’s production is drastically lower without Manny there to back him up. Without Manny, Andre’s batting average is 92 points lower, he has hit less home runs while driving in less runs, and his walks to strikeout ratio is remarkably different, from about 1:1 with Manny to 1:2.5 without him. That means Ethier gets on base less, puts the ball in play less, and is less productive overall without Manny Ramirez.
There seems to be a euphoria in Los Angeles that revolves around Mannywood, and from the looks of it, Andre Ethier should be his biggest fan.