CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) - It’s no secret the Indians are in desperate need for a right-handed slugger. If that slugger can play left field, even better.
The lack of offensive production from the left-field position is a glaring hole for the Tribe. If this team plans to be contenders all season, that hole needs to be addressed.
…Which is why signing Manny Ramirez is not a viable option.
Of course fans remember Ramirez as one of the best (if not the best) right-handed power hitters that has ever played for the Indians.
Ramirez was drafted by the Indians with the 13th pick of the 1991 MLB First Year Player Draft. He made his big league debut with the club in 1993, and went on to help lead the Indians to two World Series appearances in ’95 and ’97.
Manny Ramirez is undoubtedly one of the most beloved players of those 90’s Indians teams that we all remember as the “glory days”.
He’s a 12-time All-Star, two-time World Series Champion (with one World Series MVP) and nine-time Silver Slugger Award winner who had one of the sweetest swings in baseball.
While the Oakland A’s did release Ramirez from their minor league deal at his own request, there are a few things to consider.
The A’s didn’t feel that Manny was hitting well enough at Triple-A Sacramento to even put him on the big league roster.
His .302 batting average is deceiving. First of all, it’s Triple-A. Secondly, Ramirez had only hit two doubles, and zero homeruns. Yes, the former nine-time Silver Slugger Award winner had not hit a single homerun against minor league pitching in 63 at-bats. Not even by accident.
Not only hasn’t he shown anything at the minor league level, if you look back at his last two years in the Majors, he hasn’t done anything there either.
In August 2010, the Dodgers released Ramirez after a sluggish season in which they saw his career severely decline.
The Chicago White Sox, who were competing with Minnesota to win the AL Central, claimed Ramirez off waivers in hopes of adding a right-handed slugger to use as a DH or pinch hitter. Ramirez was beyond disappointing, contributing one measly homerun and only two RBI in 69 at-bats.
While he only played in 17 games with Tampa Bay before he announced his retirement, Ramirez had only one hit. One. Uno.
Let it be known that I am one of the biggest Manny Ramirez fans out there. He was the first baseball player I latched on to as a kid. His jersey was the first, and only I have ever bought. He was the first player I ever got an autograph from, and the one I cherish the most. Manny is still my favorite baseball player of all time.
I had a hard time letting Manny go, even when he was on the very Red Sox team that robbed the Cleveland Indians of a World Series berth in 2007.
It killed me when I heard that Manny had got caught using PED’s in 2003, and again in 2011. Yet I still defended him, and I still think he belongs in the Hall Of Fame.
It’s tough to look at Manny and see anything other than those great 90’s Indians teams and what he meant to them, what he meant to the city. I get it. I’m one of those fans.
I’m not saying you should forget about Manny. I know I’ll never forget him.
Indians fans need to stop looking at the current team through rose-colored glasses and realize that these guys have their own identity. It’s time to stop latching on to the past and what could have or should have been. As great as those 90’s teams were, they didn’t bring us a championship. They only left us hungry for more.
The 2012 Indians are a great group of young up-and-comers, future All-Stars and a couple of cagey vets that have seen it all and won it all. Sure, they have some holes they need to fill, but they can’t be filled by ghosts of the past.
Manny Ramirez is a ghost of the past. He is a shell of the amazing ball player he used to be.
My advice for Tribe fans, if you want to see your team win, stop with all of the Manny Ramirez talk. If you’re going to complain about the need for a left-fielder, at least come up with a better solution.
And that “right-handed slugger” you Indians fans are calling for? Keep calling, because Ramirez won’t answer.