Okay folks lets face it. It is that time of year again for baseball. It is September and there is a million different pennant races going on. All hyperbole, and exaggerations aside, we once again find the Los Angeles Dodgers are smack dab in the middle or in the thick of things if you would like to call that. But with a win tonight, coupled with a Diamondback loss yesterday afternoon... the Dodgers have clinched a playoff berth, which was the National League West Division Title. Before all you crazy LA Dodger fans start thanking the G-Man (that's God for you religious folk), for give the Dodgers this wonderful celebration... lets all remember who got them (that is the Dodgers) here in the first place (yes pun literally intended, sorry).
He goes one name, and those name you and hear all the way from Boston to Los Angeles. Instead of driving his toy R/C monster truck around Fenway from atop the famous, giant, green eyesore the Red Sox call, the Green Monstah (that's Green Monster for you non-New England native people), instead he's driving that same toy R/C car down Sunset Boulevard, up to Chavez Ravine out in LA. That name is Manny. The rest is Ramirez, and if you put that together you get Manny Ramirez (I'll stop now).
My point is this: Manny Ramirez becoming the 44th President of the United States of America is not an idea (nor is it physically possible... check the Constitution for the United States of America people), but Manny becoming the next National League Most Valuable Player (MVP)? That might become a reality. Despite the fact that Manny was a trade-deadline player, he has since put up gaudy number after gaudy number, and has seemed to have cut out the "Manny being Manny" stuff (unlike the haircut he was supposed to get: half inch my ass!).
His pre-departure numbers (in 100 Games with Boston): 365 AB’s, 109 Hits, 66 Runs Scored, 22 2B’s, 1 3B, 20 HR’s, 68 RBI, 52 BB, 86 SO, .299 AVG, .398 OBS, .529 SLG, .927 OPS, and if you are wondering, 1 SB.
When you combine his AL stats with his torrid stats from LA you get: 542 AB, 100 Run Scored, 179 Hits, 36 HR’s, 119 RBI, 85 BB, 122 SO, and .330 AVG.
When you look at the combination of both leagues, his stats are not that far off from his career averages in BA, HR’s, RBI, Hits, and his other statistics. So you probably think, “Aw man! Manny should be the NL MVP! For the torrid numbers he put up out in LA!” Well you are wrong. And here is why (in list form of course):
+ Manny has only played half a season in the National League, just like C.C. Sabathia.
+ What about Chipper Jones who hit over .400 for about half a season, despite stints on the DL? He is still hitting over .360. That is impressive to say the least at this time of the season. And he is still the cornerstone of Bobby Cox's Atlanta Braves offense.
+ Pujols and Berkman, anyone? These two men single handily saved their teams and kept the in playoff contention until Hurricane Ike hit Texas (Berkman for the Astros). And Pujols' Cardinals just fell off during the stretch run off August. But both men are hitting well over .350 and both have 30 plus Home Runs, and 100 plus RBI, and as an added bonus... they walk. A lot. These two men are in the top five in Base on Balls.
+ How about a repeat from the ’06 MVP, young Ryan Howard? Despite a slow… no dreadful start to the season, Howard had vaulted his name back into MVP contention, during the second half of the season (post break). Just don’t let that .250 AVG fool you, Howard is the NL leader in both Home Runs and RBI
+ How about another Phillie… how about Chase Utley? Anyone? No?! Anyway Utley had a very, very, very, torrid start to the season (I mean it was blistering), hitting a lot of Home Runs to power Phillies high powered offense (their offense was like a tank… it just steam-rolled the opposition) along with Pat Burrell, who were the only two player on the Phillies roster hitting the ball. Despite a massive cool down, this for a period of roughly two months froze the Phillies high powered offensive war machine during Interleague play and the month of August. But Utley during September has turned it on, much like his teammate Ryan Howard. Utley is near his career average of .280-.290-.300, and has belted over 30-plus home runs, and drove in close to 100 RBI.
+ David Wright and Carlos Delgado? Enough said. While the rest of the New York Mets line after last years epic and colossal collapse, Wright was the only one (only American) on that Mets lineup that was hitting the ball before the All-Star Break. As for Delgado… despite a horrible start not to dissimilar to Ryan Howard’s, Carlos has really turned it on lately (more or less have the firing of Willie Randolph and the hiring of Jerry Manuel).
+ A third Phillie? It’s a long shot… correction a very long shot (more like not feasible, but very possible): Pat Burrell. Pat the Bat got off to a start similar to his teammate, second baseman Chase Utley. But like Utley, after the All-Star break, he cooled off… big time. And is still in a bit cool spell, but the final weekend of the regular season, spells a chance for Pat the Bat to help the Fightin’ Phils clinch a NL East title for the second time in a row. Pat the Bat is hitting near/ around his career average of .250, but he has belted over 30-plus home runs, one of which was his 250th, and is close to 90 to 100 RBI. Not to mention he walks... a lot. Pat is in the top five if, not top three in walks in the National League.
So before you start penciling in Manny for NL MVP, think about those in the short list above. There are many more names that I could have mentioned like for instance, Ryan Braun, Dan Uggla, Brad Lidge, Ryan Zimmerman, and Derrick Lee. Manny for President is not possible, but MVP on the other hand is... he just has to prove that the numbers he put up second half of the season (post trade deadline) with the Dodgers is better than the numbers of those who have played a full season.