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Tag:Manny Ramirez
Posted on: March 2, 2010 6:23 pm
 

Fair or Foul?: Fantasy panties in a bunch?

OK guys, I've got a fantasy baseball situation I need you to diagnose:

I signed up for a free league on the cbs website. I could have sworn that it was an AL/NL league, but when I got into the draft room, I noticed that Albert Pujols was not listed as the top player projected for 2010. A guy named John was already in the draft room, and he had just asked the question, "where is Pujols, Manny Ramirez, etc.?"

I checked the rest of the lists and realized that the league was A.L. only, and I told him. I was upset because I wanted to use all players, as did John. He said that he was going to join another, but there is no way to leave this league. I told him I'd probably do the same thing, but we both drafted seriously. Only one other member showed up for the draft.

So the next day, that guy John offers me a trade, Mark Teixeira for Ian Snell. He told me in the comments that he released all of his other players, but Tex was on the list of un-droppables. If I accept the trade, he can drop Snell and then he'll have an empty roster.

I assume that he picked me because I talked to him on the draft. I don't know this person and did not insinuate this trade at all. I assumed that he was going to just keep his players and not pay any attention to the league, as I was planning on doing.

Well, I accepted the trade. Now, the other people from the league are sending out messages to the league saying how this is bullcrap, and that I had two accounts in the same league, etc. When I replied that I didn't know the guy, they said that I should've not accepted the trade, and Tex should've gone to free agency, and then the team who was in last after 6 weeks gets to claim him.

What is fair in this situation? Was it really that bad that I accepted this trade? What would you guys have done?

I posted this on the Fantasy community boards as a poll question, "what should I do with Teixeira?" and the answers I put where
1. Drop him
2. Trade him for full returns - meaning I trade him for what someone might normally trade Tex for (i.e. not Ian Snell)
3. Trade him for an average player - meaning someone like Snell - a bench player, or a fourth or fifth starting pitcher
4. Keep him - do nothing
By the way I remind you that only one other person came to the draft, and only one person objected the trade...
Posted on: August 3, 2009 4:24 pm
 

The Statement MLB's Steroid Users Should've Given

Alex Rodriguez sat at a table at the New York Yankees spring training facility in Tampa, Florida eight days after he admitted to three years of steroid use and delivered a statement regarding his usage.

Rodriguez appeared uninterested during the recital of the statement he had prepared. His body language showed that he felt annoyed that he had to be there and such an ordeal was even necessary.

Rodriguez is not the only one. The majority of Manny Ramirez’s comments addressing his positive test earlier this season came from the supposedly grounding statements “I didn’t kill nobody. I didn’t rape nobody.”

It is clear that baseball players, especially the ones whose names appear on the now infamous list of 104 who tested positive in 2003, are surprised at the severity in which the fans and media are addressing the issue.

Players who have tested positive revolve the majority of their comments concerning their use around apologies to their teammates and fans, calling their actions mistakes that they wish that they did not make.

In reality, we know that they are saying those things because the media relations department of each club has told them to be apologetic and denounce their actions. But, since are opinions of these players is already significantly lessened, why not have them speak the truth for once?

Below is a sample statement that players who have tested positive should adhere to. It applies to Rodriguez, Ramirez, David Ortiz, or any other of the 104 names on the “anonymous” list.

“First, I would like to thank the fans, my teammates and the organization for their patience through this time. As you all know, I tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug during the 2003 season.

“It is no longer a surprise that steroids have had an impact on the game of baseball. Earlier this decade, dozens of players were using steroids and other substances that are today banned. Before 2003, there was no penalty for using drugs that would affect your performance on the field.

“I was caught up in the PED movement. Players who I knew were not as good as I was were suddenly outperforming me, all the way to newer and bigger contracts. As I investigated and was given information about this issue, the following became clear to me:

“The growing number of players who have used PEDs were doing so without recourse and no penalties. Because their numbers and production was better, they were rewarded. As a human being, I have an obligation to provide for my family as best as I can, and steroids helped me level the playing field.

“I am not proud of my actions, but I cannot entirely regret them. Let me be clear: steroids are exceptionally dangerous when used long term. The consequences can cost you much more than your playing career. I direct my comments here especially toward the young fans of baseball: Steroids are banned in baseball for a reason. It was wrong then, and remains wrong now.

“That said, try to put yourself in my shoes. No one knows that you are using, and there are no repercussions if you test positive. Again, I am not proud of my actions, but whenever a loophole exists, people will always take advantage of it.

“Since testing has begun, I have not used PEDs of any kind, as shown by my lack of positive tests. Testing in baseball has leveled the playing field, which is all that I was striving for from the beginning.”

All baseball fans are still waiting for an honest approach.

Posted on: July 30, 2009 9:52 pm
 

Papi's Biggest Moment was his Worst

The baseball world was already aware that Manny Ramirez was at least at one point in his career using performance-enhancing drugs thanks to his positive test at the beginning of this season.

The breaking news today came from a New York Times report that announced that fellow longtime Boston Red Sox David Ortiz was, along with Ramirez, on the list of 103 players that had tested positive for a banned substance during the 2003 season.

Surprised?

You shouldn’t be.

First, take into account the mathematical odds. There are 30 major league teams, each with a 25-man roster. That is 750 players. If we throw in even another five players per team that average significant enough time to be on the roster, that would give us roughly 900 players who were in the majors in 2003.

That means that one out of every nine players is on that list of being caught using PEDs, or about three per team. Some teams, no doubt, will have significantly more players on that list because of the environment in each clubhouse and the notable players that have already been identified as users: Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers, New York Yankees, San Fransisco Giants, Houston Astros, etc.

Throw the Boston Red Sox into that distinguished mix.

Second, and this is in no way to be interpreted as racially prejudicial or demeaning, there is clearly a seperate PEDs ring in the Dominican Republic. By that I mean that it seems that in the DR, it is much easier for individuals to obtain PEDs of varying nature.

Believe him or not, if anything that Alex Rodriguez said in his press conference addressing his usage was true, it was that he was a young kid who was able to get drugs that he had no idea what they were, except that it would make you stronger.

We have seen a trend that many of the top-level players who are caught using PEDs have a Dominican connection: Sammy Sosa, Miguel Tejada, Ramirez and now Ortiz, just to name a few.

Thirdly, and perhaps most obviously, was that Ortiz was a castaway from the Minnesota Twins – a player deemed too big, too slow and too one dimensional to play in the majors. That expendable piece of the Twins organization went on to hit 41, 47, 54 (franchise record) for the Red Sox during the ’04-06 seasons.

At the time, we did see a large, very strong left-handed hitter that reminded us of Jim Thome every time the ball jumped off of Ortiz’s bat. He was 28 in 2004, the first year he hit 40+ home runs in a season, which is right in the middle of the prime of a hitter’s career.

While we thoroughly enjoyed Ortiz’s best years in Boston, and the two World Series titles that he and Ramirez helped the Sox win, this is by far the biggest moment of Ortiz’s career in Boston.

Bigger than walk-offs against the Angels and Yankees in the 2004 play off series; bigger than the Red Sox single season home run record; bigger than solidifying himself as one of the best clutch hitters and best designated hitters in the history of the game.

David Ortiz replaced Nomar Garciaparra as everyone’s favorite Red Sox player. He was always outgoing, gregarious and accepting of the media. Even through his recent struggles, Ortiz forced a smile on his face. No one outside of New York (and perhaps a few other teams still looking for ball that he has launched over their fences) had a bad thing to say about him.

Until now.

Posted on: June 24, 2009 6:48 pm
 

Should Suspended Players Be Allowed to Rehab?

Manny Ramirez is no stranger to controversy, and now is part of a new one that has gained popularity in recent days. Only this time, it is not his fault.

As everyone knows, Ramirez is currently serving a 50-game suspension for violating major league baseball's illegal substance policy. Ramirez's suspension will end on July 3rd, barring any rain-outs before then.

While the nature of Ramirez's absence from the Los Angeles Dodgers certainly has enough controversy alone, the situation has drawn the ire of baseball fans nationwide when it was announced that Ramirez would be sent this week to the Dodger's triple-A affiliate in Albuquerque.

Many fans and members of the media have voiced their opposition to this, saying that the Dodger's slugger was banned from baseball for 50 games. He was not injured, so why should he be given, in essence, a few rehab starts to get "baseball ready?"

As stated, this is not an issue that is Ramirez's fault, not is he receiving special treatment. Philadelphia Phillies' reliever J.C. Romero received a similar suspension during the off-season that forced him to sit out for the first 50 games of this season. Romero pitched for a few weeks in the Phillies minor league system sot that he could return on the 51st game of the season.

The Ramirez/Romero/et al. issue comes down to a logic problem. On the one hand, the new drug policy says that a major league player like Ramirez will be suspended for 50 games, and 50 games is what he will miss. Can major league baseball suspend players from the minor leagues as well?

If Ramirez's suspension from baseball also held him out from minor league action, then it would not have been a 50-game suspension. It would be a 50-games-plus-however-many-games-it
-takes-to-get-into-baseball-shape suspension.

With the current suspension, the Dodgers have been penalized and, by the suspension's end, will be at a disadvantage for 50 games (not that it mattered much to them in the standings). Likewise, Ramirez was penalized and will miss 50 games, not to mention 50 games' worth of salary.

It may seem like a loophole in MLB's policies, and it is just that. While the above arguments support Ramirez's and Romero's ability to go to the minors to get in some action before coming back, consider this argument:

If a player at the triple-A level of an organization violates the minor league baseball drug policy, they serve a 50-game suspension from baseball . They do not get to rehab at single-A or double-A before the 50 games is up.

Since it seems that players will continue to use illegal substances despite the chances of being caught, MLB must make a clearer stand on this issue. While it does not seem like suspended players like Ramirez should be allowed to go to the minors, what else is the purpose of the minor leagues to a major leaguer than to get back into major league shape?
Posted on: May 26, 2009 6:42 pm
 

Papi Dropped/Buchholz Nearly Perfect/Penny Rumors

In a big day for Red Sox news, the biggest story is that David Ortiz has finally been dropped in the lineup. Terry Francona released his lineup for tonight’s game against the Minnesota Twins, and it has J.D. Drew in the third spot, with Ortiz taking Drew’s position in the six hole. Ortiz has not been anywhere but the three position in the batting order since May 2005, when he and Manny Ramirez were sometimes swapped as clean-up hitters.

After having a decent series from May 19-21 against the Toronto Blue Jays, picking up three hits including his first home run of the season, he then went 0-for the series against the New York Mets. He was benched yesterday while the Sox faced a tough left-hander in Francisco Liriano. His batting average recently dipped below the Mendoza line and now stands at .195.

Dropping Ortiz down to the six hole seems like a big move, but it is more to maintain the continuity of the rest of the lineup. This way Kevin Youkilis and Jason Bay remain largely unaffected, or at least, will not have to move in the lineup. They will benefit from Drew’s higher on-base percentage and better speed.

In other news, Clay Buchholz, pitching for triple-A Pawtucket, took a perfect game into the ninth inning of the PawSox game yesterday against the Louisville Bats. A leadoff single broke up the bid, but Buchholz retired the rest of the hitters in the ninth on his way to a one-hitter. He is now 3-0 with a 1.60 ERA with 49 strikeouts in 48 innings pitched for Pawtucket.

Buchholz has been absolutely dominating in the minors this season, and yet he could not seem to get a roster spot in Boston. However, this last performance may have done it. In news related to Buchholz’s performances, the Boston Globe reports that Brad Penny is on the trading block.

The team would be looking to move Penny for two reasons. Firstly, the Sox need to make room for Buchholz. There is no reason for him to stay in the minors. Secondly, the Sox will use Penny as an opportunity to bring in some kind of bat off of the bench. The players whose names that have been thrown around, such as the Washington NationalsNick Johnson, will be too expensive for only a deal involving Penny.

But, the Sox could hope to pick up a player in the same way that they got Mark Kotsay last year, but this player will likely be able to contribute more off of the bench. But, the Sox will be bearing in mind that by the All-Star break, the Sox bench will likely be Kotsay, Rocco Baldelli, Nick Green, Julio Lugo and George Kotteras. That bench is pretty solid and fills the need offensively, so Penny may be exchanged for something else.

Posted on: March 14, 2009 4:01 pm
 

Julio Lugo undergoes MRI on knee

Julio Lugo left Friday's exhibition game in the first inning with soreness in his right knee. Today, Lugo was sent back to get an MRI on that knee, but the Red Sox don't know the extent of the damage. The Boston Globe reported Lugo as saying that he was "worried" about his knee. Terry Francona did say that Jed Lowrie would get the bulk of the remaining opportunities at short-stop.

Lugo could be worried because he sees his job slipping away because if the only thing he could do was hit well during spring training to try to keep his job. Now that he is on the shelf, it is looking more and more like Lowrie will be the everyday short-stop, and that Lugo will be moved sometime during the season. It is unfortunate for the Red Sox that Lugo got hurt because Lowrie likely already had the job, and they were pleased with Lugo's impressive spring training performance thus far because that improves his trade value.

No matter what Lugo hit in spring training, which was .450 before the injury, the Sox would have still been responsible for paying some of Lugo's contract, and he is owed $18 million over the next two season, if they were able to trade him. But, the better Lugo does in his opportunites, the less the Sox would be left responsible for.

Lugo would have marginal value without his pricey contract. There are enough teams who would be interested in a short-stop if the Sox paid a big chunk of that $18 million. Lugo has only played short-stop with Boston, and a few emergency innings in the outfield, but in the season before he came to Boston, Lugo played 16 games at third base, 29 at second, and three more in the outfield. He can play other positions, and there are teams that could use someone like him (the Yankees are in the market for a third basemen I think?).

Unfortunatetly, the Red Sox will not move Lugo until the trading deadline, unless a major buyer becomes more immediately available. Lugo has been emphatic about foreshadowing his disappointment if the job is given to Lowrie. If Lugo's situation seems to becoming a problem, it will quickly spiral. Unlike when Manny Ramirez, Curt Schilling, and Pedro Martinez have raised issues about contracts and other things in recent years, they are all Hall-of-Fame caliber players and some people at least were able to stand up for them because of their on-field performance. But, virtually no one is in Lugo's corner from the team's, fans' or media's perspective. If Lugo starts to complain, and is still only hitting .220 and has as many errors as RBIs, it would quickly become a bad situation (dare I say, cancerous?).

The injury to Lugo buys the Sox some time and more excuses to play Lowrie, but may hurt their chances to move Lugo in a timely fashion.

Posted on: January 2, 2009 2:50 pm
 

Red Sox fans should be smiling on the inside

CC Sabathia?
Predictable.

A.J. Burnett?
Foreseeable.

Mark Teixeira?
Painful.

Kevin Cash?
Laughable.

These were the questionable free agents over which the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox renewed their rivalry in classic, off-season style. After missing the playoffs for the first time in 13 seasons, the Yankees' front office put their farm system retooling program on hold to pursue many high-priced free agents, and that Sabathia followed the money and signed a highly lucrative contract in New York came as no surprise to Red Sox Nation. The Red Sox showed no interest in acquiring Burnett, as the asking price for the oft-injured starter was far too high.

Sabathia and Burnett were not surprises, but it was the signing of Teixeira that really drew the ire of Red Sox fans at owner John Henry and other members of the front office. Big Tex was supposed to be the Sox's man, the one free agent that the Red Sox not only had a genuine interest in, but also a legitimate chance of signing. But as is the case for many of the Scott Boras-represented players, the Sox decided to play hardball and were beaten out by a few million dollars.

But secretly, Red Sox fans are smiling. Why? Because now almost a decade worth of seasons have now come and gone when the Yankees have tried to buy their way into the postseason by throwing exorbitant amounts of money at talented free agents. The Yankees went through an incredible run in the late 90s, but did so with a perfect mix of home grown talent and free agents, much like the way the Red Sox have won two World Series this decade. Yankees' GM Brian Cashman tried to stand up to the reign of Steinbrenners and prevent them from continuing to ship prospects to other teams for the superstar caliber players, or sacrifice future draft picks for major free agent signings.

Red Sox fans are in a win-win situation. While they missed out on Teixeira, and lost Manny Ramirez, they are still very much contenders for the A.L. pennant, and they have done so with farm raised players. If the Red Sox win, then all is well in the Nation, and who cares how many free agents the Yankees signed? If the Yankees win the division, then Red Sox fans will remain the leaders of a country-wide riot about the Yankees' ridiculous spending habits.

So smile, Red Sox Nation.

Posted on: May 13, 2008 10:56 pm
 

Red Sox Recap 5-13-08

The Red Sox were once again unable to hold an early lead, and unable to push across runs late. Some thoughts on the game:

Josh Beckett had a better start than the line score would indicate. Simply, the Orioles did a much better job hitting. Beckett’s fastball was consistently down in the zone and at its usual 94-96 MPH range. His curveball was breaking sharply and his changeup was used sparingly but there did not seem to be much wrong with it. His delivery was fine, but the Orioles just out-hit him. It is very difficult for a lineup, especially a young lineup like theirs, to overcome a deficit against a great starting pitcher. The Sox went up but three runs in the first, and Beckett had retired the Orioles in order in the first inning, but they did not panic and were patient and were able to bang out some hits and put runs up early. Similarly, the game should not have been as close as it was. Jeremy Guthrie continues to be a nemesis of the Sox (everyone remembers the eight-plus shut-out inning performance last Mother’s Day), but the Orioles committed two errors behind him in the first inning which helped the Sox build a three run lead. The Sox should not be concerned by Beckett’s performance, because sometimes good just is not good enough.

The Red Sox are really suffering from injuries. Jacoby Ellsbury has been held out of the starting lineup for the past few games because of a knee injury, but he was forced to play in right field tonight when J.D. Drew had a nasty landing while attempting a sliding catch. Drew’s wrist completely rolled over, and the Sox reported that he the diagnosis was a sprained wrist. Coco Crisp had to leave the game later because of a stomach flu, and Brad Mills was forced to move Ellsbury over to center field and move Kevin Youkilis to right field. Youkilis was placed in the outfield because the Sox first string emergency outfielder, Julio Lugo, is still suffering from the effects of a slight concussion. Lugo was used in the outfield in 2006 with the Rays and with the Dodgers. Brandon Moss is still on the disabled list because of an appendectomy, so needless to say, the Sox are very thin all of the way around. If Drew has to go on the disabled list, and he may, considering the grim look that trainer Paul Lessard had when he first examined him, and given the fact that Drew is notorious for not playing through pain, then the Sox wil likely have to go to the minor leagues for outfield help, as they would only have one healthy outfielder in Manny Ramirez, and two questionable ones in Ellsbury and Crisp. To add to the swelling list of injured players, the likely replacement for any injured outfielder would be Bobby Kielty, but he was also just added to the disabled list. Moss is scheduled come off of the disabled list soon, so they could wait and hope nothing disastrous happens. Given the Sox long list of injuries and illnesses this season, it is a credit to their depth and overall team strength that they are still in first place.

The Sox offense is doing excellent this year, and their league-leading numbers are proof. However, the Sox are having difficulty of late hitting in pressure situations: late in the game, and with runners on base. The Sox opened the year with timely hitting and created an aura that they felt like they were never out of a game, and that confidence from the offense was carrying over into the other aspects of the team. Of late thought, it has been a different story. The Sox are not having the same explosiveness once the late innings come around. The difference between the Sox and the Orioles tonight was the Orioles’ ability to hit with runners on base and in scoring position. A microcosm of the Sox recent struggles occurred when Ramirez came up to bat with the bases loaded and nobody out. Ramirez had a long battle at the plate, before grounding weakly to the pitcher, who was able to start the 1-2-3 double play. When Mike Lowell stepped up to the plate with runners on second and third and two out, he lifted a soft fly ball to the left fielder. The Sox managed a run late in the seventh, but the game tonight was eerily similar to the night before in against the Twins. In both nights, the Sox were able to put up some numbers early in the first inning, but were not able to salvage a mediocre start.

Look for this recap following tomorrow’s series finale against the Orioles. (To view all previous recaps, follow this link.)
Keep the Faith.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com