We all knew the writing appeared on the wall. Manny was simply being Manny, being ejected after one pitch over the weekend in his final plate appearance as a Dodger. Clearly, that was the last straw, as the Dodgers yesterday allowed Manny Ramirez to head to the Chicago White Sox on a waiver claim, receiving nothing but cash relief in return.
When he’s been on the field, Ramirez has been an impact bat, but he hasn’t been on the field all that often this season. In just 196 AB (66 games), he has hit .311 with 8 HR, 40 RBI, 32 R and 1 SB.
It’s pretty much the status quo, and the move back to the AL should only help him produce big numbers.
First of all, Ramirez gets new life and a new environment, something that generally helps to ignite him. Just look at his splits the last time he switched teams, going from the Red Sox to the Dodgers in 2008:
- Red Sox – .299 (109-165), 20 HR, 68 RBI, 66 R
- Dodgers – .396 (74-187), 17 HR, 53 RBI, 36 R
The situation is similar, as well, as his contract was set to expire and he was trying to impress for a big payday. While it’s unlikely he matches the 2 year, $45 million contract he was awarded by the Dodgers, he certainly could convince the White Sox to give him a deal if he produces.
The move to U.S. Cellular Field should significantly help Ramirez’ performance. The park certainly helps to produce some big power numbers. The White Sox are currently seventh in the Majors in home runs with 149, and the ballpark plays a factor in that.
It will be interesting to see exactly how the White Sox setup their lineup. He’s another righty, joined by Alex Rios, Paul Konerko and Carlos Quentin in the middle of their lineup. You would like to see a lefty mixed in, but power is power, so you’re not going to complain.
I would expect him batting fifth, between Konerko and Quentin, which should mean plenty of opportunity for RBI.
The fact is, do we really need a reason to buy Ramirez? While he is a quirky individual and has played his way out of many cities, the “honeymoon” period is generally a very enjoyable one for him. Look for him to do his thing, and make a tremendous impression over the final few weeks of the year.
What are your thoughts on the Ramirez/White Sox marriage?