Posts Tagged ‘Manny Ramirez’

Jim Rice Still Carrying Torch for “Good Old Days”

Friday, August 21st, 2009 by Nerdicus Finch

Rob Neyer already raked Jim Rice over the coals for this, but I don’t think adding a few comments of my own would be piling on. As reported by the Associated Press, Jim Rice, as part of a promotion for Allstate Insurance Co. (Full Disclosure Alert: they currently insure my car), recently spoke to a group of Little Leaguers in Williamsport, Pa. Here are some excerpts from the story:

“You see a Manny Ramirez, you see an A-Rod (Alex Rodriguez), you see (Derek) Jeter … Guys that I played against and with, these guys you’re talking about cannot compare,” Rice said to Little Leaguers gathered in the cafeteria.

Stay classy, Jim. Somehow you got into the Hall of Fame and, just a few weeks later, you feel the need to crap all over today’s stars. What an ambassador for the game.

What’s also funny, Jim, is that you can compare the players from your era with those from the modern era. There are statistics for that. I won’t discuss Manny Ramirez or A-Rod because of the steroid issue (and it’s clear that Rice has adopted a holier-than-thou attitude on that subject), so let’s focus on Derek Jeter. I’d love to hear from Rice regarding which shortstops from his era were better hitters than Jeter. I don’t think Rice played with Arky Vaughan or Honus Wagner, so he probably won’t be able to come up with any.

“We didn’t have the baggy uniforms. We didn’t have the dreadlocks,” Rice said. “It was a clean game, and now they’re setting a bad example for the young guys.”

Asked later at a news conference to list current players worthy of the Hall, Rice suggested Seattle Mariner outfielders Ichiro Suzuki and Ken Griffey, Jr., and Chicago White Sox slugger Jim Thome.

Really? That’s the best list that he could come up with? I agree that all three belong in the Hall of Fame, but aren’t there a few really obvious candidates out there? Randy Johnson, John Smoltz, Pedro Martinez, Mariano Rivera, Albert Pujols, Ivan Rodriguez, to name a few.

He said he believes current Hall of Famers who did not cheat don’t want players who took performance-enhancing drugs to join them in the Hall.

Flexing the muscles in his right arm, Rice said, “That’s all the steroids you need. … It’s called God-given talent.”

What a piece of work. I guess Rice is feeling a little cocky due to his recent HOF election, which is still a mystery to me. I know that there is a lot of disagreement on this, but, in my opinion, Rice is not a HOF caliber player. He was a very good player, but not worthy of Cooperstown. Things are going to get awkward over the next few years when the baseball writers realize they elected Rice, but don’t want to elect Fred McGriff or Moises Alou. I guess McGriff and Alou weren’t as “feared” as Rice.

The last sentence of the article sheds some light on the interest level in Rice’s perspective. It reads like a little bit of an eff you from the AP writer:

He got a standing ovation from players and coaches, though some of the 11- to 13-year-old players were yawning or had their heads in their arms on the table about 15 minutes into the talk.

Sounds like your speech was a real showstopper, Jim. If it were Manny, A-Rod, or Jeter doing the talking, I doubt any of the Little Leaguers would have been daydreaming.

New Hall of Fame Criteria: Be a Culture-Changer

Friday, May 8th, 2009 by Nerdicus Finch

The general know-nothingness of ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd has been well-documented elsewhere. Fire Joe Morgan destroyed Cowherd in legendary fashion back in 2006, so I’m not going to spend much time ripping the guy in general terms since it’s been done so thoroughly in the past and in a much funnier way than I could ever manage.

I did want to note something that I heard Cowherd say this afternoon, however. While running some errands during lunch today, I had the misfortune of catching a few minutes of Cowherd’s radio show (by the way, ESPN Radio really screwed the pooch when they sent Max Kellerman packing; he used to have a show for the New York market during Cowherd’s time slot and he was surprisingly funny, interesting, and well-informed).

Anyway, Cowherd was discussing how important Curt Schilling and Manny were to the 2004 Red Sox because they “changed the culture” of the team. Their attitudes, Cowherd argued, made the Red Sox no longer fear the Yankees and gave them the confidence to beat them and become champions. He then said (and I’m paraphrasing): “To me, that’s what makes Schilling a Hall of Famer, even more than his 11-2 postseason record. He changed the culture of the Red Sox.”

So let me get this straight. Here is Cowherd’s list of Schilling’s Hall of Fame credentials, in order of importance:

  1. Changed culture of 2004 Red Sox.
  2. 11-2 postseason record.
  3. Everything else he ever did (127 career ERA+, 3116 Ks, 216 wins, 1.137 career WHIP, etc.)

That makes sense, right?

Colletti and “moneyball” in the same headline…NOT an April Fools joke

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009 by I Love Nerd York City

While perusing Buster Olney’s links today, I was immediately drawn to this one from the Los Angeles Daily News:

Dodgers GM Colletti plays own version of moneyball by Ramona Shelburne

…But after what he’s done for the Dodgers this offseason, just imagine what general manager Ned Colletti could do with a couple days in Washington in a room with Congressional lawmakers who have been dickering, rather fruitlessly, over the federal budget and bank bailout packages.


Manny signs

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009 by Prof. Nerdtron 3000

Ned Colletti finally gets his present and Manny Ramirez gets his cake. Or something like that.  Manny is going back to LA at $45 mil for 2 years.  Another win for Boras, who will now have more funds to continue development on his arch-villian lunar lair.

The Dodgers were in a no win situation.  Without Manny, they are not clearly the class of the weak NL West.  Since making the playoffs is worth a haul of cash, Manny’s threat of retirement has to carry some weight.  On the other hand, there were clearly no bidders even at 2 years/$11 (I was offering Manny 2y /$10 to write for Nerd Baseball, or at least should have been).  I’m not sure it would have killed the Dodgers to hold out on 2y/$40 mil for a few more weeks of Spring Training.

Money aside, I expect Manny to continue crushing the ball.  He can’t keep up 219 OPS+ he put up in LA last year, but his career average is 155.  Even if you ding him for being old, he could still easily be in the 140 range and be one of the best hitters in MLB.  His UZR was even respectable last year (better with the Sox than the Dodgers, which suprises me, since he supposedly dogging it with Boston).  For a comparison of how good Manny is at the plate, consider that the big free agent prize this year, Mark Teixeira, has a career OPS+ of 134 and a career high of 151, lower than Manny’s career average.  Sure defense is part of the picture with Teixeira, but with the bat, Manny’s peers are few and far between.

These Are Your Hall of Fame Voters…

Friday, January 30th, 2009 by Nerdicus Finch

I was watching “Yankees Hot Stove” on the YES Network today (I think it was a repeat from sometime this week) and the topic of the suprising continuing free agency of certain players came up. One of the panelists, George King, the Yankee beat writer from the New York Post a Yankee beat writer from one of the New York papers (I forget his name, but it wasn’t Jack Curry of the New York Times, who was also on the panel) spoke about Bobby Abreu. He expressed how shocked he was that a player of Abreu’s caliber could not get a job and finished his comments by saying (I am paraphrasing): “I’d rather have Abreu than Manny Ramirez.”

This statement was not qualified by any mention of the relative costs of the two players, so I am pretty sure that he meant, if he could choose either player, regardless of cost, that he would rather have Abreu on his team than Manny Ramirez. Both are horrible defenders, so the comparison should be based purely on the offensive value of the two players. And, as I Love Nerd York City noted in a recent post, Ramirez absolutely destroyed the ball in 2008, which was apparently also the season in which he gave up on his teammates and cemented his “bad teammate” reputation. Specifically, Ramirez posted a 1.031 OPS in 2008, as compared to Abreu’s respectable, but unspectacular, .842.

This is just another example of Ramirez’s “bad teammate” label making the mainstream sports media forget that they are talking about one of the greatest hitters of all time. And these are the people who vote for the Hall of Fame and MVP awards. No wonder they so often get it wrong (Jim Rice, Tim Raines, and the frightening number of votes for Jack Morris, to name a few).

Why not Manny?

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009 by I Love Nerd York City

As a Mets fan living in Boston, I got to watch Manny play hundreds of times over the past 7 years, including all of last July, when popular opinion now says that he was tanking it and dogging his way out of Boston, actively sabotaging the Red Sox season. To clarify: sitting out two games in a contract protest…inexcusable. Going crazy and pushing an old man down because he couldn’t get you enough tickets…nuts. OPS’ing 1.060 while batting .347 in July…NOT tanking it. So let’s move on…

With that in mind, can someone explain to me why the Mets seem to have no interest in signing this guy?

Mets 2008 payroll: 138.6 million
Mets current 2009 payroll: approx. 123 million

So the Mets have about 15 mill to spend before they reach last year’s payroll, and about 40 mill before they reach the luxury tax threshold. I figure they’ll spend 10 mill on their next starter (Perez or Sheets).

Looking further down the line, the Mets have about 40 million coming off the books after the 2009 season (Delgado 12, Wagner 10.5, Schneider 5, Castro 2.5, Redding 2.5, Cora 2, Tatis 2, Anderson 1, Schoenweis 1.5). Unfortunately, compared to this year, next year’s FA class seems to have a big drop-off in high end talent.

So unless the Madoff swindling is actually affecting the Mets payroll, why not sign Manny for 2 or 3 years? It would bump them way up over last years payroll, but still not over the luxury tax threshold…in a year when theyre opening a new stadium. I understand the need for payroll flexibility, but even if they had Manny for 3 years, he’d still come off their books after the 2011 season, when they’re currently set to lose control of Reyes and Beltran. David Wright is under their control through 2013.  I realize his defense will cost them some runs in LF, but still…

Why not get Manny?! Or at least Adam Dunn…