2008- .332 avg/ 37 HR/ 121 RBI
2010- .298 avg/ 9 HR/ 42 RBI
Manny Ramirez agreed to a one year, $2 Million contract with the Tampa Bay Rays last week, and that may very well turn out to be a huge steal for the franchise. Ramirez is an interesting character, with endless quirks and an agenda that is more often than not difficult to interpret. For a good fifteen years, he was arguably the best right handed hitter in the American League, and really one of the more impressive batters that has played the game. For all his antics (most of which were rather harmless and, well… um… goofy?), he was a master at the plate and always took that part of the game very seriously. In the field, he was often viewed as a liability, though he managed to make his share of great catches, too.
It really just seemed to be up to him and how he was feeling that day. In his last days in Boston, during the 2008 season, he seemed to be forcing the Sox to deal him, with half-hearted offense (which, for Ramirez, was still good for a .299 average, with 20 homeruns and 68 RBI in 100 games) and bumbling defense in front of the Monster in left field. After the Sox dumped… I mean, traded him to the Dodgers, Manny seemed to be in better spirits – to the tune of 17 homers, 53 RBI and a staggering .396 average over the course of 53 games.
Manny hasn’t had that sort of success since then, but that’s typical Manny. It’s hard to get a read on what makes this guy tick, but if he’s willing to play DH for a mere $2 Million, after all the money he’s already made throughout his career as one of the highest paid players in the league, then I’m inclined to believe he genuinely interested in making a positive contribution to his club. And, if he’s still got the talent to get the bat on the ball for nearly a .300 average at the major league level, it’s hard to imagine he doesn’t have to talent to give that ball a ride, too.
2011- .306/ 31 HR/ 102 RBI