Thursday, February 25, 2010

Just Manny Being… Reasonable

As Spring Training begins, Joe Torre says he’s not buying into the media hullabaloo surrounding Manny Ramírez’s stating that 2010 is his last year with the Dodgers. Two days after Eric Gagné reported to Camelback Ranch and a day after Torre extended his contract through 2011, Manny stole the headlines by simply expressing his doubts that he’ll be back in L.A. after this season. While Dodgertown erupted into a frenzy, the seasoned Torre remained unmoved. Why?

To begin, Torre and Manny both know Manny isn’t getting any younger. He’ll be 38 this May. Manny couldn’t field when he was 28; and, renegotiating a contract for an aging slugger who can no longer field makes no sense in the National League. However, Manny can still hit. And, if he wants to up his market value as a potential DH in the AL, he needs to have a solid year at the plate. What does this mean for the Dodgers? They have a career .313 hitter with 546 homeruns ready to give his all for the Blue Nation in 2010. Including Manny in a lineup chock full of young superstars who have recently blossomed (Ethier, Kemp, Loney, etc.) may mean the Dodgers will get a chance to ride MLB’s career postseason homerun champ deep into the fall.

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