Tampa Bay Rays: Why We Shouldn't Hate Manny Ramirez

Nick StewartContributor IApril 14, 2011

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 03:  Designated hitter Manny Ramirez #24 of the Tampa Bay Rays bats against the Baltimore Orioles during the game at Tropicana Field on April 3, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

Manny quit; Manny is a juicer; he's a weirdo; he hurt the team.

Not so fast.

When Manny Ramirez announced his retirement from Major League Baseball, it was the best thing that could have happened for the Tampa Bay Rays and I, for one, applaud Manny for this bold move.

Manny was facing a 100-game suspension from the Rays, so he was not going to be a factor this season. With his batting average of .118, he wasn't helping much anyway. 

Manny saved the cash-strapped Rays $2M plus bonuses in just retiring, rather than be subjected to yet another suspension.

Manny had issues; the Rays knew this when they signed him. He was a safe gamble for a paltry $2M, and now, he has saved the Tampa Rays from even having to pay him that! 

Manny should be a hero to management.

Manny did boost Rays recognition during his brief stint. National media took a little more time focusing on the "Little Team that Could." 

He did provide some entertainment during Spring Training.

If that doesn't take the cake, imagine this: If another DH or outfielder had been taken, instead of Manny Ramirez, he would probably still be in the game. 

The team batting average on the year is .202. This "mystery player" would have probably been right there with everyone else.

If all that would have happened, if Manny wouldn't have retired, there would be no Legend of Sam Fuld.

To this, I, as a Rays fan, say this: Thanks, Manny.

Thanks for the memories. Thanks for trying. Thanks for retiring when you did.

Most of all, thanks for making possible something Rays fans everywhere needed: The emergence of Sam Fuld.