Manny Ramirez was asked if his early season struggles were the result of him pressing in an effort to make a good impression. Manny hasn’t hit much these days, but he smacked that one out of the park:
“I don’t need to impress nobody. I’ve got almost 600 home runs.”
Truth. Maybe not as to how Rays fans actually feel — they’d probably like to be a bit more impressed right now — but on the notion that Manny is not, by damn sight, the kind of guy who feels he needs to prove anything to anyone. I mean, no one has yet found the Rosetta Stone for Manny Ramirez-motivation, but we can be pretty sure that it’s not about what other people think.
For what it’s worth, I’m one of those people who thinks/thought that Manny will/would have a big year in Tampa. Because, rather than the wacky lazy caricature he is considered by many, I think he has a twisted sort of inner motivation. How could he not given what he’s accomplished? Lots of guys with his raw talent have done way, way less.
One day, after he’s dead, someone is going to cut him open and find some alien/super hero DNA and realize that he was motivated by something akin to saving the Bottled City of Kandor or something. Until then: mystery.
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera didn’t play in the Tigers’ season finale against the White Sox, but he has officially clinched the AL batting title with a .338 average following Sunday’s action. It’s Cabrera’s fourth batting title in his last five seasons.
Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon entered Sunday’s season finale with a bit more pressure. He was in a tight race with Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper for the NL batting title, trailing only by rounding to the fourth place, .3307 to .3306. Gordon went 3-for-4 in a loss to the Phillies while Harper went 1-for-4 in a loss to the Mets. As a result, Gordon officially won the NL batting title with a .330 average. It’s the first batting title of Gordon’s brief career. Hanley Ramirez was the Marlins’ last batting champion, doing so in 2009.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels are expected to announce Billy Eppler as their new general manager on Monday. Eppler had been serving as the assistant general manager with the Yankees.
Jerry DiPoto had been the Angels’ GM but he stepped down on July 1. DiPoto later joined the Red Sox in an advisory role, then was named the Mariners’ new GM last week.
The Angels lost to the Rangers in Sunday’s season finale, which eliminated them from contention for the second AL Wild Card spot. They finished 85-77. Most of their regulars are under contract for the 2016 season, but Eppler will have to decide whether to tender contracts to seven arbitration-eligible players while filling in the rest of the roster.