JC's Dodger Line Drives | Feb. 22: Manny Ramirez Won't Be in LA Come 2011

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JC's Dodger Line Drives | Feb. 22: Manny Ramirez Won't Be in LA Come 2011
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The wire services are crackling with what is deemed to be news today—Manny Ramirez is saying he will not return to the Dodgers in 2011!

This revelation ranks right up there with water being wet and the sky being blue.

Any Dodger fan who is paying attention knows this will be Manny's last season in Dodger blue. They also are aware if fate sends the season sideways, the team would look to deal Manny to an American League team.

When the 2010 offseason rolls around, it is obvious his agent, Lucifer Boras, will be sliming around any and all American League teams that need a full-time DH and/or power hitter for the middle of the lineup, looking to cut a deal.

In order to get said contract at acceptable terms, Manny realizes he needs to put up some quality numbers in 2010. Such numbers will benefit the Dodgers' pursuit of a World Series berth.

Thus the 2010 will be a situation where the Dodgers and Manny hope to be using each other to the mutual benefit of both.

Don't make the mistake of thinking the impending divorce of the McCourts has any influence in this matter. It is purely a baseball decision.

Manny is a tremendous hitter with subpar defensive skills. He's not totally useless with a glove as some would have you believe, though. Manny has played the outfield for decades and knows his body. If there is a fly ball he knows he can get to, he'll bust his tail feathers to go catch it.

The tough part is with those balls he knows he will not catch; they do not always get the full effort. This leads some to think he's dogging it on the field. That is a fair complaint when looking at the play in the singular.

But Manny takes a larger view of the game. He appreciates the marathon nature of the MLB season and takes a dim view of risking injury to make a play look good, even if he won't be able to make it.

He knows there are no style points for making a play look close. Either you catch it or you don't—there is no in between.

When approached about the subject, Manny has a simple comment. Write what you want; he doesn't care. I can appreciate where he is coming from.

Manny grew up in New York, where media feeding frenzies are elevated into an art form. He played for years in Boston, where knives aplenty were sharpened to describe his person as well as play. Now he's in LA, where there are a few prominent columnists who don't let reality or decency interfere with their writing.

So why should Manny care? It sure won't help him on the field. In fact, if he did dwell on the media, it would be to his detriment.

He says what he thinks and feels. Not being back in LA is just another true feeling.

How the media reacts to it is the media's responsibility, not his. Manny just needs to concentrate on smacking the ball around the yard. Everything else will take care of itself.

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