Saturday, June 16, 2012

What's Next For Manny Ramirez?

The Manny Ramirez comeback attempt with the Oakland A's came to an abrupt end. While it was a much more cordial separation than Vlad Guerrero's split with the Blue Jays, the result was the same, a release to free agency. Manny hit .302/.348/.349 in 69 (hee-hee) plate appearances at Triple-A and felt he was ready for that promotion but the A's simply didn't have room for him considering their potent offense has a .295 wOBA which is good for fourth worst in baseball. Ramirez was uncharacteristically sane about everything...
"The A's treated me amazingly during all this time, but sadly didn't have space for me and this is something I can't control," Ramirez told's Enrique Rojas by phone. "I'm going home to continue my training hoping to get the chance to play again. I'll be waiting for that call and if God believes (playing) is the best for me, then it'll happen. If not, I'll understand."
While some younger fans will remember Manny for his silly antics or failed drug tests, he was one of baseball's great hitters. From 1995 to 2006 (his age 23-34 years), Ramirez hit 451 home runs and averaged a .318/.415/.606 line. But before Manny aimlessly wonders into the sunset and maybe/might not/should/could take along time into the Hall of Fame, he thinks he has some gas left in the tank. Here are a few of the options I believe he has to wind down his career...

1. The Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates are hitting .225/.279/.359 as a team and their .277 wOBA is the worst in baseball. Despite UZR not caring for his defense, Andrew McCutchen is a fine defensive center fielder so he could make up some ground if the Pirates decide to just sit Manny down in the grass of right field like the worst kid on his Little League team. The Pirates are above .500 and 4 games out of the Central but 23rd in attendance. Manny could help create a little buzz around the Bucs and might even swat a few bombs.

2. Lead Singer, Bob Marley cover band
I don't know if Manny can sing but you'd pay the $6 cover to find out, right? He's got the dreadlocks and nonchalant attitude to pull it off. Plus he's already tested positive for most of the drugs under the sun, why not add a little marijuana to the list?

3. Farewell Tour with the Cleveland Indians
Bring it full circle. He started in Cleveland and I think he should finish up there. The Indians are just half a game out of first but have the worst attendance in baseball. I'm envisioning a marketing extravaganza. Bobblehards, t-shirts, dreadlock hats, pregnancy tests, post game performances by his Bob Marley cover band, autograph signings, PED testing kits and road trip packages like those Grateful Dead hippies have. This idea practically prints money.

4. Bagboy at the 4020 Woodland Ave Duluth, MN Piggly Wiggly
While this is my favorite idea, he'd get fired after a week because either all of the items would get past him or he'd cut off the can goods before they got to the cashier.

5. Assistant to the Traveling Secretary for the New York Yankees
Manny seems similarly competent to George Costanza. This was the only scenario I could think of where the Yankees could try to stick it to the Red Sox by hiring Manny. But the cotton uniforms eventually backfire.

6. MLB Comedy Duo With Vlad Guerrero
While the potential Hall of Fame players wait for a phone call from an MLB team, you can watch them butcher "Who's on first" in half broken English-half Spanish. It's a $12 cover and a two drink minimum. No refunds.

7. Bathroom Attendant, Green Monster, Fenway
He's already familiar with the work environment. Why not make a little extra coin by handing out paper towels and mints to outfielders in need of a mid-inning restroom visit?

That's all I have but I'm sure I'm missing some. Like a routine fly ball to left field.

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