Say goodbye to Mannywood

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I probably shouldn’t rock a Billy Joel-inspired headline one post after criticizing someone else for writing headlines that are in poor taste, huh?  Anyway:

It’s the end of a very brief and probably over-hyped era: the Dodgers have taken down the “Mannywood” sign that has adorned the left field corner in Dodger Stadium for the past couple seasons.  The stated reason: they sold that space to an advertiser. The big picture: that sign was coming down whether the real estate was sold or not. 

Ramirez has played only 61 games this year. The excitement of 2008 gave way to the multi-faceted disappointment that was 2009 and now — regardless of how good his rate stats are this year — his absence and the team’s struggles make the sort of joie de vivre that inspire those kinds of signs unthinkable. Absent a comeback next season that makes Vlad Guerrero’s year look like a
disappointment, there will be no similar hoopla surrounding Manny
again, no matter where he plays.

As a wise man once said: everything ends badly otherwise it wouldn’t end.

The Cubs send Kyle Schwarber to the minors

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Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.

Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.

Now this:

The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.

The A’s designate Stephen Vogt for assignment

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A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.

Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.

Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.