It's becoming more and more apparent that the Dodgers are going to place Manny Ramirez on waivers. Now, of course, if he is placed on waivers, there's no guarantee he'll be moved. But if he is, Tampa Bay could be a good landing place for him.
Ramirez needs a change of scenery. More importantly, the Dodgers would probably love to move on themselves. The Manny experiment is one that, in retrospect, didn't really work out for the Dodgers.
It's certainly true that "Manny being Manny" can take a toll on the team. The Red Sox and their fans can attest to that, and now so can the Dodgers and their faithful. The initial excitement that turned Hollywood into "Mannywood" is a thing of the past, both figuratively and literally.
But, for two months at the most, Manny could be a solid addition to a team — especially a team like the Rays.
The Rays are loaded with good young pitching, but their offense is one that has been inconsistent all year long. Their team batting average (.251) is 22nd in all of baseball and they are 15th in home runs.
Tampa has also been no-hit twice this season, three times since last July and came within an Evan Longoria infield single of being no-hit for a third time this season earlier this month by the Blue Jays' Brandon Morrow.
Ramirez is no longer the the best right-handed hitter in baseball as he was when he was hitting line drives off of and over the Green Monster in Fenway Park. Despite that, however, he is still capable of putting up respectable offensive numbers, a fact that would be compounded by hitting in a lineup that features Longoria, Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena.
At the very least, Ramirez would give the Rays another established bat in the middle of the lineup to add depth to a lineup that is pretty top-heavy.
His numbers are nowhere near what they used to be, but if the Rays can somehow get Ramirez to buy into what they are doing, then hopefully they'd be able to avoid the "questionable" disabled list trips Ramirez has become known for. If they were able to acquire the slugger, obviously the only way they could get him to contribute is to get him in the lineup.
And perhaps Manny would have more motivation to do so in Tampa. It's no secret that baseball isn't as big in the St. Petersburg/Tampa area. After playing amidst media circuses in Boston and Los Angeles, maybe a new start with lowered expectations would be a welcomed thing for Ramirez.
Bringing in someone like Ramirez is a risky proposition. However, for only a couple of months Ramirez may be just what the Rays need to make a playoff run come October especially if they meet up with the Yankees or Red Sox, teams Ramirez has combined to hit over .300 against.
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