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Manny’s Back…..But Is He Staying?

Posted By Dave Leonardis On Aug 22 2010 @ 12:54 pm In Los Angeles Dodgers | 2 Comments

The Los Angeles Dodgers welcomed back slugging left fielder Manny Ramirez yesterday from his third stint on the disabled list of the season. He went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in his return against the Dodgers as the former World Series MVP is still trying to shake off the rust from being out since late July(Ramirez also went 1-for-6 during his rehab stint).

The question being asked now, with Manny back and the Dodgers’ chances of making the playoffs pretty much dead, is how long the team will keep their mercurial left fielder in Dodger blue. Rumors and reports have surfaced for weeks leading up to Saturday’s activation that the Dodgers, like the Cubs did with first baseman Derrek Lee last week in their waiver trade with Atlanta, will waive Ramirez and hope to get something back for a once-dangerous slugger in the middle of his worst season as a pro. Ramirez is hitting .312 with a measly eight homers and 48 RBIs. He hasn’t had a hit since June 29th. Still, when motivated(and you’d like to think playing for a contender in a contract year would be enough motivation for Man-Ram), he’s still a potent bat in the postseason.

 A potential split would work out well for both sides. It would allow the Dodgers to find someone to pick up the tab on the last dollars remaining on the $18.9 million Ramirez was set to make this year, and it allows Manny to make one last run at a pay day by putting on a clinic for a team that’s actually playing for something. The Dodgers are 11 games back in the NL West. They’re done. They’re finished. They also four starter-quality outfielders(Ramirez, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and recently acquired Scott Podsednik). Why not cut their losses and see if they can get a few nibbles for Ramirez? Certainly, an AL team needing some pop at a DH spot could use Ramirez’s bat(cough…cough….Tampa Bay….cough cough), and you’d have to think the Dodgers wouldn’t be too stingy in their asking price at this point in the season. So, time will tell what happens with Manny and the Dodgers. All signs point to him spending September in a different uniform, but it’s hard to make that a guarantee given Ramirez’s reputation and the pathetic season he is currently having.

Some other Dodger notes:

*The Dodgers acquired catcher Rod Barajas from the New York Metstoday. WithRussell Martin’s corpse on the shelf for the remainder of the season witha bum hip, the Dodgers went to the scrap heap to bring in a 35-year old catcher hitting .225 with 12 home runs. Beyond his potent bat(sarcasm alert), Barajas also brings his keen eye at the plate(he’s drawn just eight walks) and his intimidating knack for freezing potential base-stealers(he’s thrown out four runners out of 27 this season).

*Vicente Padilla is headed to the DL once again with a bulging disk in his neck. Team doctors don’t think the neck injury is too severe and there’s a chance he’ll only miss a start or two. Reliever Travis Schlichting will fill Padilla’s roster spot and Padilla’s spot in the rotation will be manned by Carlos Monasterios.

*One storyline that is expected to pick up some steam(besides, obviously, Manny’s potential departure) will be Dodgers manager Joe Torre’s future. Tonight, the Cubs will bid adieu to manager Lou Pinella, who is retiring early to be with his sick mother. Why is that important to Torre? Well, because Torre has been rumored to be Pinella’s replacement for quite some time now and, while Pinella’sretirement wasn’t a surprise, now that Sweet Lou is out of the picture and the Dodgers’ season is over, all the focus will now turn to whether Joe’s staying in L.A. to try to make a run with the post-Manny Dodgers or taking his talents to the Windy City. Stay tuned.

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