Simply Put . . . Shocked


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Do the additions of Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon make the Rays contenders again? My answer is no.

After losing Grant Balfour, Jason Bartlett, Joaquin
Benoit, Randy Choate, Carl Crawford, Matt Garza, Brad Hawpe, Dioner Navarro, Carlos
Pena, Fernando Perez, Chad Qualls, Rafael Soriano, and Dan Wheeler the Rays
think that by signing two outfielders, one 37 and the other 38, they along with
the rest of America thinks they are “good” again.

I mean I think that the Rays’ general manager, Andrew
Friedman, is one of the best in baseball. However, what the heck is he
thinking!

First off, the Rays didn’t really need any more
outfielders/ designated hitters. I mean Desmond Jennings, B.J. Upton, and Ben
Zobrist make up maybe one of the best outfields in baseball, even without
Crawford. Now, either Johnny Damon or Desmond Jennings will have to sit on the
bench. That is, unless, Jennings gets sent down to AAA.

However, Zobrist could also be moved to shortstop,
second base, and first base. If Zobrist does get moved to the infield, in my
opinion he would most likely take Dan Johnson’s spot at first.

Then at D.H. you have Matt Joyce and/or Dan Johnson
(depending on Zobrist) who aren’t the best players in the world, but they both
are capable of being an everyday D.H.

The problem with me is that I don’t understand why
they signed both Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon. Their outfield has enough
depth with Justin Ruggiano as to fourth outfielder and Joyce can play the
corner spots.

Jennings is ready for the majors so he shouldn’t be
sent down to AAA. I understand signing Damon or Ramirez to D.H. Yet, I think
signing both of them may have been the Red Sox’s “fault.”

Everyone knows that they Rays have had a pretty bad
offseason. I mean just look at the first sentence of this article. The Red Sox
on the other hand “stole” Carl Crawford and Dan Wheeler. So, I’m assuming that
these moves were made to say that they Rays aren’t just going to roll over.


030410-johnny-damon-3.jpg


Also, another obvious reason is attendance. I mean
the Rays have always had low attendances. Heck, Carl Crawford said he signed
with the Red Sox in part to the fact that he knows that there is going to be a
full house every night. I mean Damon has an “attendance clause” for crying out
loud.

However, from Damon and Ramirez’s point of view this
is the perfect team. Damon could be “getting back” at the Yankees for not
resigning him. Also, I’m not exactly sure Damon likes Beantown anymore. Manny
might be trying to “get back” at Boston. I mean that’s just not how you want to
end your stay anywhere. Most likely though, both of those things are false.

But what can you expect from the two of them. Well, I
believe player A, will hit fifteen-twenty home runs, drive in over
seventy-five, and bat anywhere from .250 to .290. Player B will hit ten to
twenty homeruns, drive in either around fifty or eighty, and bat around .250.

Who do you think are player A and B? Player A is
Johnny Damon. Player B is Manny Ramirez. Damon has the potential to have some
nice power numbers this year while the odds are he’ll have a higher batting
average then Ramirez.

Manny though, has an injury history. If he stays
healthy though I think you might be able to see some of his old form return.

Regardless of the performance, baseball fans need to
play close attention to the Rays this year. It could be the last year that two
of baseball’s greatest players play.


manny ramirez dodgers


Also, in a completely off topic story, am I the only
one that found it ironic that Tom Brady got foot surgery after playing the
Jets?


Photo Credits

1.)  http://carolsxsblog.blogspot.com/2005_04_01_archive.html

2.) http://blog.mlive.com/cutoffman/2010/03/detroit_tigers_links_johnny_da_1.html

3.) http://www.loudsportsshorts.com/baseballs/manny/manny-ramirez.html


4 Comments

Thanks for pointing out Brady’s foot surgery! That made me laugh this morning. As for Damon and Manny, well, I like the Rays signing Johnny, but not sure Manny is a good fit. Guess we will find out this season.

Ron

http://strictlycubsbaseball.mlblogs.com/

Damon is definitely a good signing. Rays are not sure whether Jennings is ready or not. Upton had a down year last season. I think Damon is a nice insurance. Count on Joe Maddon to use Damon smartly in the field, not as DH. Meanwhile Manny (if he fixes his attitude, his health is not as important) is a serious threat off the bench and as DH. He will be splitting DH duties with Dan or Matt. Again, Joe Maddon is one of the smartest managers in the league. I think these two are excellent moves. They may not fill the gaps left by all the players you have mentioned but I think they will still give a serious fight to Boston and New York.

And let us not forget their starting rotation. Except Garza, all other starters are coming back in addition to a full season of #2 top prospect Jemery Hellickson. Andy Sonnastine is not a bad #6 SP. What about the return they got for Matt Garza? If I remember correctly, couple of them are major league ready. I will be rooting for Rays and Orioles in that division.

I think Archer is probably the closest to being ready for the Majors that the Rays got for Garza. He was in the top 50 on MLB Network’s top 50 prospects the other night. I think he was late 40s. Sam Fuld has been in the bigs already, but he’s a 4th or 5th outfielder at best with Tampa. Guyer is closer than Chirinos and Lee, but I think Lee has tremendous upside at shortstop.

Ron

http://strictlycubsbaseball.mlblogs.com/

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