Tag Archives: Manny Ramirez

A Message to Umpires: Stop the Warnings

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Umpires this year have taken warnings too far.

Last week when Yankee Left-fielder Brett Gardner went hard into second base injuring Carlos Guillen, I was expecting some retaliation from Detroit. Two games later Gardner was hit leading off the game, rising suspicions that it was intentional. Honestly if it was on purpose then hats off to Detroit pitcher Jeremy Bonderman. He was protecting his teammate. The only thing that peeved me about it was he hit Brett in the leg. Hit the man in the back. Never aim to low or too high. That is what baseball is about. I know people hate to hear that, but I’m sorry that’s baseball. The players police themselves. Gardner hurts Guillen, he gets hit, end of discussion and we go on to playing baseball. But the umpires, by issuing all these warnings, take that aspect of the players policing themselves out of the game. I have no problem with umpires warning both benches to prevent a bean-ball war. But all I and fans ask is use common sense when issuing them. Surprisingly in that Yankee game Yankee pitcher Chad Gaudin hit Miguel Cabrera who had homered twice and a warning already issued, but Gaudin was not ejected.

As I write this, a warning in the Chicago White Sox and the Baltimore Orioles game was issued after Alex Rios got hit with two outs and a runner on second. With the O’s still in the game, there is no intention of hitting Rios in that spot. But a warning was issued anyway. All umpires have to do is use common sense. They have been in baseball long enough to know when it is just a pitcher pitching inside or not. People get hit, that is baseball. Pitchers have to throw inside to command the plate. I have seen it too many times this year, umpires issuing warnings when they are not warranted. Once a warning is issued it cannot be rescinded and it makes the umpires job harder. If a batter gets hit or a pitch is inside they have to play mind-reader. Was it intentional or was it just a pitch that got away? So umpires, lets not always jump the gun and slow down with the warnings and lets just play baseball.

Now for some news around the Bigs:

I have one question for the Seattle Mariners: What were you thinking? They gave up Brendan Morrow for Brandon League and a pick. Now, League is having a pretty good year (63 IP, 2.84 ERA). But League is a reliever who doesn’t have the potential Morrow has nor does he have the stuff Morrow has. How do you give up on someone who has the stuff Morrow has. I watched him make professional, all-star quality players look horrible. In his last fifteen innings against the two best teams in baseball, the Yankees and the Rays, Morrow has given up two runs, five hits, and has a whopping twenty-nine strikeouts. His stuff is top quality and should factor into the Jay’s future for their rotation. I bet Seattle wants a do-over on that one.

This week two big name players, Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez, were rumored to go on waivers. Damon has already hit waivers, while Manny is still waiting.  These two former all-stars can play a huge role in the pennant race. Damon can still hit and can be a productive player in the two hole in a lineup. He was claimed by his former team, the Red Sox on Tuesday, but he rejected the claim to stay in Detroit. Manny is the wildcard in this pennant race. If he is claimed by the White Sox or Rays for example, who knows what he can do. If he gets out of LA and into a race we could see a similar Manny that we saw when he went to LA after leaving the Red Sox. Just to jog your memory, Manny in 53 games in 2008 with LA hit .396 with 17 home runs and 53 RBI’s. Inject anything like that into a lineup like the Rays, White Sox, or Yankees and the whole pennant race is changed.

Quick notes on those Yankees. Without A-Rod this year the Yankees are 13-1. Now that is just a statistic , there really is nothing behind that. But what is not just a stat is Robby Cano is really stepping up in A-Rod’s absence. He is closing in on his first career 30 home run campaign. Someone is going to get a nice pay day in the off-season. In other news, Javy Vaszquez’s struggles have now led him to the bullpen. Rookie Ivan Nova will take his spot in the rotation. This is a scary thought for Yankee fans because after CC Sabathia, the Yankees have Phil Hughes who is on a inning limit, a struggling A.J Burnett, journeyman Dustin Mosely, and Nova in their rotation. Now with Andy Pettite’s return pushed back even further, it seems Mosely and Nova will pitch big innings in the Bronx this fall.

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Playoff Preview: Dodgers vs. Cardinals

Two of Major League Baseball’s oldest and most storied franchises meet up again in the NLDS. The Cardinals and Dodgers last met in the playoffs in 2004, when St. Louis tookCardinalsDodgers the NLDS in four games and eventually advanced to the World Series. Prior to that, you have to go back to 1988 for the last matchup between the teams, a classic that involved Ozzie Smith’s walk-off home run in Game 5 and Jack Clark’s game-winning dinger in Game 6 that sent the Cards to the World Series. The Cardinals also held the advantage in the season series, winning five of seven games.

The Cardinals win if: Their one-two punch of Chris Carpenter (17-4, 2.24 ERA) and Adam Wainwright (19-8, 2.63 ERA) continue pitching like the Cy Young candidates that they are. Carpenter will take the rubber in Game 1 with Wainwright pitching Game 2. Given the schedule, Carpenter could potentially pitch Game 4 on three days rest. If not, both would be available for Game 5. Their one-two punch in the middle of their line-up of Albert Pujols (.327, 47 HR, 135 RBI) and Matt Holliday (.313, 24 HR, 109 RBI) should be able to produce enough runs to win the series against the Dodgers inferior pitching as long as Carpenter and Wainwright continue to do what they have been doing all year.

The Dodgers win if: They can hit the Cardinals starting pitching. They have the young stars ready to be recognized nationally by performing in the post-season with Matt Kemp (.272, 31 HR, 106 RBI), Andre Ethier (.297, 26 HR, 101 RBI), and James Loney (.281, 13 HR, 90 RBI). And they of course have future Hall of Famer Many Ramirez (.290, 19 HR, 63 RBI). But Manny, along with much of the Dodger line-up, has been struggling as of late. But if things begin to start clicking and they all play to their potential, they can win this series.

The X-factor: Dodger starting pitching. Starters Randy Wolf (11-7, 3.23 ERA) and Clayton Kershaw (8-8, 2.79 ERA) will be up against Carpenter and Wainwright, respectively. They need to be able to keep the Dodgers in the game for them to have any shot at winning this series.

The verdict: Cardinals in 4. Since July 22, when Manny came back from his 50-game suspension, the Dodgers are just 34-33. The Cardinals, on the other hand, are 40-25. They have better starting pitching and a line-up that is not struggling in the second half of the season. All signs point to a Cardinals win.

-Brad Allen ’13

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