MLB Rumors: 10 Reasons Manny Ramirez and the Toronto Blue Jays Make Sense
Manny Ramirez is without a doubt one of the most powerful and productive hitters to ever play the game of baseball. Manny has a career average of .313 and has hit 555 home runs in his colorful career. Manny is a 12-time All-Star and has won the Hank Aaron award twice. He has won two World Series rings with the Boston Red Sox (2004,2007) and was the World Series MVP in 2004.
Despite his hitting success, Manny Ramirez has been a serious cancer to any team that has taken him in. His immature antics, his laziness, and his lack of passion has irritated every team he has ever played for and has resulted in him switching teams on more than a few occasions. Manny Ramirez has also been plagued by the accusations surrounding his usage of steroids.
The past couple of years have been a struggle for Manny as he has dealt with a ton injuries and a lot of criticism. On the occasions that Manny has played, he has hit for a high average but has been dealing with a serious power outage. Whether it be age, injuries, or the lack of a certain performance-enhancing drug, one thing is certain, Manny is not the same Manny he once was and it appears as though retirement is not far away.
Manny would still like to play and buzz was generated when he spoke to ESPN Deportes about how he liked the Toronto Blue Jays and how he has always wanted to play with them. Ramirez has had very few suitors this offseason and is hoping that a team will take a chance on him. I believe that Manny Ramirez and the Toronto Blue Jays would be a perfect match for 10 reasons......
Please note that the slides are not ranked, just numbered.
10. The Jays Need A Designated Hitter
The Toronto Blue Jays have been looking for a full-time designated hitter for several years now, that is no secret. Adam Lind has been filling the spot for the past two years but, it is time for him to move to first. As of today, the Blue Jays don't have a true DH on their active roster. The Jays have always been able to hit home runs but, they need a true run producer. That is where Manny comes in.
Manny Ramirez is not exactly known for his defensive prowess. Therefore he is not your ideal candidate for any National League team. He fits with the Jays because he hits a high average and is still a very able run producer. His home runs are down but the rest of the Jays lineup will makeup for Manny's lack of home runs.
9. Potential Career Revival For Manny
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Manny Ramirez is 38 years of age and if he does play this year, this may be his last chance to prove he can still swing the lumber. Many teams are skeptical as to whether or not Manny can be healthy and be consistent. So, Ramirez has a lot to prove. Manny still wants to play and to that there is no doubt. If the Jays were to give Manny a chance, he would actually have some incentive to play hard, earn his money, and have a phenomenal season.
Considering that Manny hasn't always been the most "motivated" player in the world, the Jays could benefit from the pressure it would put on Ramirez to produce at a high level. Who knows, maybe Manny would even behave just to show that he can!! Like I said, it would be Manny's last chance and I don't think that he would want to blow it.
8. The Media In Toronto
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The Toronto Blue Jays are virtually ignored by everyone who cares about baseball outside of Canada, or so it seems. The Jays don't get any press coverage regardless of what they do and are barely talked about. Even though the Jays have a nice future, can still put a good product on the field, and can win a lot, nobody seems to care. The Blue Jays have also always had the misfortune of having little to no superstars on their team like the Yankees or Red Sox have the fortune of having. The only one in recent memory is Roy Halladay and he is long gone.
As much as I don't like media circuses, I think it would be nice if the media paid attention to Toronto. And that my friends is where Manny could enter. Ramirez draws enormous amounts of coverage wherever he goes and with whatever he does. If Ramirez were to join the Jays he would give most people a reason to actually maybe watch the Jays once in a while or just take notice of them. Just a though!!
7. The Attendance Increases??
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Before I begin, let me just say that David Beckham has no relation to this article whatsoever, I merely wanted to show an empty Rogers Center. :)
The Toronto Blue Jays had one of the worst attendance records in all of baseball last year. Their attendance record was so bad that they even ranked behind the lowly Kansas City Royals and the Baltimore Orioles. Now that my friends, is really sad. The Jays were on average only filling 39.9% of their stadium every home game. The Jays also averaged just over 20.000 "fans" a game at their home games as well.
Manny Ramirez would be a player that a lot of people would come out to see. Heck, I would take the 14 hour drive from my house in the Maritimes to the Rogers Center just to see Manny play. I am not saying that it would be a packed house every night but, it would certainly be a lot fuller than what it has been. It would a nice change to see more than 20,000 fans at the ballpark.
6. The John Farrell Connection
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After the 2006 MLB season, the Boston Red Sox hired John Farrell as their pitching coach. Farrell and head coach Terry Francona had been teammates together when they played for the Indians. Farrell enjoyed his time in the Red Sox organization and is well respected around the baseball world.
John had the "pleasure" of being around the star slugger Manny Ramirez for about a season and a half. Not a ton of time, but enough to develop some chemistry one would imagine. When Manny spoke about potentially joining the Jays at some point, he brought up Farrell's name and said that he really liked John as a person and as a coach. Having Manny join the Jays under the reigns of Farrell seems like a better idea than lets say Manny joining the Jays during Cito Gaston's tenure if you know what I mean. Comfort is big when it comes to these kinds of things.
5. The Money
One thing that may get in the way of potential contract negotiations with any team that tries to grab Ramirez will be the money part of it all. Even though not much interest has been directed at Manny, he still thinks the world of himself and still thinks he is worth a lot, which he may very well be. Teams like Tampa who Manny have been linked to don't seem like the best fit.
The Jays don't spend a lot on free agency, in fact they spend very little. Alex Anthopolous usually uses the bulk of money to sign young players to extensions (Ex. Romero, Lind) or puts some of it into the scouting departments. The Jays have a ton of money, they just don't really use it and I don't think that the Jays would die if they signed Manny for a bit more than certain teams would be comfortable with. I think the Jays could see it as a good investment.
4. Manny's Hitting History In Toronto
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When it comes to hitting at the Rogers Center, there is nobody better than Manny Ramirez. During Ramirez's time with the Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians he put up absolutely monstrous numbers in Toronto. In 96 games at the Rogers Center, Manny has hit 27 home runs and 83 runs batted in versus the Jays. His career average at the Rogers Center is a very nice .291, a .379 OBP, and a .561 SLG. Manny is just one of those guys who for some inexplicable reason seems to destroy the Jays both at home and at the Rogers Center.
Just an interesting note to Manny and the Jays career stats. In 190 :o career games against Toronto (total games away or home) Manny has hit a blasphemous 54 home runs. That was the most home runs he had hit against any team for a very long time but the Jays have now taken a backseat to the New York Yankees who Manny has hit 55 against.
3. The Latin Connection
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If you haven't heard, Ozzie Guillen has always criticized the way Latin players have been treated in the MLB. Surprisingly, a lot of people agreed with him. Just thought I would throw in that little tidbit of information out there.
When Manny Ramirez spoke to ESPN Deportes about his liking for the Toronto Blue Jays he talked about two things. The first was of course his love for John Farrell and his coaching style. The second and more interesting one was Manny's love for the Jays Latin "presence" or history. In the interview over the phone Manny said, "Toronto is a team I've liked since they had all those Dominican players in the '80s". Spoken like a true scholar!!!
Haha! Anyways, the Toronto Blue Jays have always been a team that has had a very large Latin presence in their organization. The Jays do a ton of scouting in the Spanish-speaking countries and have had a ton of Latin players on their teams over the years. Whether it is Manny's comfort level with being around Spanish-speaking people or just the fact that the Jays have always had a ton of Latin players, Manny clearly likes the team and would be a nice fit.
2. The Return And Revenge Of Manny Ramirez
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Manny Ramirez spent eight seasons of his Major League Baseball career with the Boston Red Sox organization. He was loved by the fans and even the players and was a superstar. Manny put up monstrous numbers with the Sox and helped lead them to the World Series twice. During the end of his tenure in Boston, Manny's numbers began free-falling. His once productive bat had fallen silent and people were starting to get annoyed with his "Manny being Manny" act. In my opinion, Manny can only be Manny if his having a good season offensively. Otherwise he is of no use.
The Red Sox fans and organization raged on Ramirez and shipped him off to Los Angeles leaving bad blood on both sides of the equation. Now, Manny has a chance to come back with the Jays (or maybe the Rays) and show Red Sox fans that they made a mistake. Or maybe more telling the organization that they made a major mistake trading him a few years ago. That could be some incentive for Ramirez to sign with the Jays and perform at a high level.
1. The Production Potential. Dividends?
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One thing that really hasn't been discussed when talking about Manny Ramirez, has been the potential production. I have heard about all the risks whether it be the attitude problems, the injury risks, or the lack of production. But, Manny is still a really good hitter and I truly believe he has a lot left in the tank. What people seem to forget is that even without steroids, Manny still knows how to hit and has tons of power.
I believe that Ramirez can still hit 20+ home runs, 80+ runs batted in, and still hit a very respectable average. Manny could pay huge dividends to a team that takes a gamble on him.
The chances of Manny Ramirez becoming a Blue Jay are extremely small to be frank. It is no secret that Manny needs the Jays more than the Jays need Manny. It is doubtful in my mind that the Toronto Blue Jays would be willing to sacrifice the future (momentarily) for one year of Manny Ramirez.
The money and years would be problems if they were to try and hammer out a contract. I think Toronto will avoid Manny but I can't help but imagine what it would be like having him in Toronto as I have shown that it makes sense.
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