Tag Archives: Manny Ramierez

Manny, Steroids, and the NFL Combine

If you didn’t know, Manny packed up his estrogen and brought it to Oakland. The hysteria has swept over Oakland’s Spring Training in Arizona since he arrived Friday morning. I’m not sure if the bearded lady is a sideshow or the main attraction yet, but it’s become clear that the players are having fun with it using Mannyisms in their interviews whenever possible. I’m not sure why some people think it’s a terrible signing when he’s only making a prorated $333K after he serves his 50 game suspension. If he sucks, so what, they can just cut him. If he’s a cancer to the team, let’s face it, they probably aren’t finishing higher than 3rd in the AL West anyways. At the moment, I’d much rather watch Manny strikeout swinging as hard as he can than see someone else tap out on a weak grounder to the pitcher. If I thought the A’s were a contender, then maybe I’d be angry he’s taking atbats away from someone else, but at the moment that’s just a silly thought, so let’s see what the bearded lady can bring to the circus that is Oakland these days! The circus has for a moment taken over whatever the Giants are doing right now, so for a day or two at least Oakland is in the headlines over the Giants…

Lord knows I’ve never cared about players doing steroids, and if I did, I’d probably have to condemn my favorite A’s teams with the bash brothers or even more recent versions with Giambi and Tejada. When I heard about Ryan Braun’s negative test, I didn’t bat an eyelash. When his ruling was overturned, I didn’t bat an eyelash. When I heard Braun’s prepared statement, I felt like it was Rafael Palmiero waving his finger at me again, but didn’t truly care what his message was or what others thought of him. Whether he’s innocent or guilty, it’s obvious something happened that wasn’t right. The whole steroid era is overblown. It’ not like crappy players were all of a sudden good because they took steroids, they may have become average, but never great. The great players might be able to enhance their longevity a little, but who cares. I don’t watch games worried about who is using and who isn’t. I watch it to be entertained, and if PED’s end up being a part of that entertainment so be it. Hell, I don’t even care what message it sends to kids. Call me heartless, but if parents don’t instill to their kids that cheating is wrong, then they’re probably not that good parents to begin with. It comes down to a life choice for each athlete, and it should be their choice since they know the repercussions in the media and on the field.

I never watch the NFL combine (since I try to have a life), I’ve always felt it’s sole purpose was to keep NFL fans entertained with something during the off-season while players are poked and prodded in their underwear. Maybe if they had pads on doing some of the workouts would make more sense to me, but they choose underwear instead. As a Raiders fan during the Al Davis era you always had to look at the numbers coming out of the combine, because whoever had the fastest 40 time or could bench the most would most likely end up on our team at some point. Now that he’s gone and we only have two draft picks, I have zero reason to care what’s happening. The only thing that I really do think matters is their wonder-lick scores. No, I don’t really care if a player gets average or high scores, but I’d stay away from any player that scored low on the test, because it’s made for elemetary school kids. Other than that, look at film and call it good with making your picks.

Masters, Manny, and a Beat-down in Pittsburgh

Charl was given his green jacket signifying that he is the Master of the Universe, yet the storylines don’t seem to surround his four birdie finish. I’m not one to push golf onto anyone who can’t stand watching guys read putts for five hours, believe me I understand why it would be boring, but this weekend was one of the most exciting finishes we might see in any major for awhile. When there were about 8-10 holes left to play for the leaders, the CBS crew couldn’t even figure out who’s shot or which players they even wanted to show because there were so many people atop the leaderboard. We didn’t see a whole lot of Charl during the day, but did get a lot of Tiger shoved down our throats. Tiger looked great for the front nine, and it looked like he had some of his swagger back busting out his fist pumps. Unsurprisingly to me that seems to be the topic of conversation today on whether Tiger is indeed back or not. It’s tough to say when he missed critical putts down the stretch that he usually would’ve made during his domination days. Regardless of whether he’ll be as dominant as he once was, he’s relevant again. The other story was about how Rory McIlroy caved to the pressure, and was one of the only people to shoot over par on Sunday. It wasn’t so much that he didn’t win, but more so that he caved, and he seemed to give up after his triple bogey on the 10th. He’s a 21-year-old, so I wouldn’t worry about him. It’s like last year when Dustin Johnson choked away a lead on the final day at the US Open. I’m sure he’ll learn from what happened, and his skills aren’t disappearing. All in all, I think golf is healthier than it’s been in awhile. I’m not going to go all Geno Auriemma and cry if you don’t care about golf, but this past Sunday was a finish that I feel like any sports fan would’ve enjoyed.

Manny is retiring… Lots people go to Tampa to retire, and Manny doesn’t seem to be the exception to that rule. I’ve always loved then loved to hate Manny depending on which team he was playing for. I guess the bigger deal about his retirement is if he’ll make it into the HOF. All along I’ve been for the steroid era players getting into the HOF. It’s an era, and whether there was cheating or not, you have to acknowledge the best. Baseball has always had the worst HOF setup in my eyes. The snubs feel ridiculous, and most of the time those who are snubbed were “bad” character guys. I feel like the HOF is a popularity contest that nobody really wins in unless you were a classy person on and off the field. Personally all I care about is what was done on the field, cheating or not, he was still one of the greatest. With that said, I’d put Manny, Clemens, A-Rod, and Bonds in. Who cares if I or anyone else doesn’t like them as people they still were amazing players that carried baseball for two decades.

Apparently, safety in stadiums is an issue… The MLB League passes are free for everyone for the first week of the year, and I’ve watched a lot of teams I probably won’t see for the rest of the year. One common theme seemed to be empty seats in stadiums. I’m not sure if it’s the cold weather across much of the country or if it’s a correlation that fans no longer feel safe bringing their kids to the ballpark after the Dodgers incident. Whatever the case, this recent video from a Pirates game was insane. Dude was either completely wasted or just can straight up take a hit. The rent-a-cop billy clubbed him three times and he didn’t even flinch! This might be the most excitement the Pirates fans have all season…

Taking A Look At The MLB Waiver Period

With Manny being put on Waivers last night, it made me curious exactly how the waiver process works. I mean, even Casey Blake doesn’t understand what’s going on after hearing the news he was put on waivers. Now that we have the blog, it’s given me an extra reason to find out what is going on with this seeming second trade deadline. The waiver period doesn’t really end there, but that’s when teams have to declare their playoff eligible players. So, just like I broke down the Super 2 rule that keeps some teams from calling up their top prospects. Now, I will loosely use Manny as an example of how this waiver crap works…

It all starts with the Dodgers deciding to place Manny on waivers. This means they control three things that happen at the end of a 48 hour period or a kind of0 silent auction so to speak. One note, it’s not actually 48 hours sometimes. For some reason it only counts business days, so if they held off putting Manny on waivers until Thursday or Friday his waiver period would last through the weekend until Monday or Tuesday. By doing it yesterday, the Dodgers insured that the period will end before this week is over.

So who can claim Manny? Basically any team can throw their name into the claim hat, but there is a priority list, and it starts with the worst team in the National League, because Manny is in the NL. If the Pirates decided to throw in a waiver claim in for Manny, they’d have the top priority. The team with the best record in the AL (Yankees/Rays) would have the lowest priority if multiple teams were putting in claims on Manny. Also, the best team in the NL would have a better shot than the worst team in the AL. Still with me?

Ok, so let’s say a team claims him. The Dodgers now can choose three different outcomes. They can pull the player back, and keep him on their roster. They can negotiate a trade with the team that put the claim in (Two business days to work out a deal from the time the claim goes through). They can also let the player go without compensation to the new team like the Blue Jays did letting Alex Rios go to the White Sox last season, and let the new team assume all of his remaining contract. We saw Johnny Damon weep like he just realized his beard was gone, and denied a return to the Red Sox was a prime example. It will be Manny’s choice if he goes anywhere, which in a likely scenario, the team that put the player on waivers is usually stuck with that player they put on waivers, and just have to hope for some compensation picks, which isn’t a terrible 2nd place prize if your stuck with said players contract.

Another interesting thing I found was how much strategy there is in the waiver process. Just because a team claimed someone doesn’t necessarily mean they REALLY wanted them. Sometimes a team will claim a player just because they want to block that player from going to a rival or someone they are chasing in the standings. It’s why I think the Red Sox put in a claim for Damon and might for Manny. They would rather have these guys deny a trade to play for them, and block the Yankees and Rays from improving. Who knows, they might even be happy that Damon stayed put! This factor made me realize that the July 31st deadline is way more important than the August 31st deadline, because teams are heavily restricted with who they can negotiate with. The problem though, is what if a team claims one of the players without a no trade clause to block someone else from getting them, and they just get screwed with a someones recycled pile heap? I guess that’s just the risk you have to take as a GM sometimes…