Manny Ramirez

What they’re saying about Manny Ramirez’s retirement


You’ve already heard what we had to say about Manny Ramirez’s shocking retirement, but what about the rest of the baseball world?

From baseball writers to current players and former teammates and managers, here’s a quick sampling.

Bobby Jenks (via “I look at it as this. You do it, you get caught, you’re an idiot. If you do it again you’re a dumbass. I mean, it’s sad to see. One of the greatest hitters, or one of them, to make the same mistake twice, same bad choice. And within a year and a half of each other? I don’t know, you know?”

Joe Posnanski: “But Manny — I don’t know how he did it. Some will say he did it with steroids, but that seems a copout to me … I suspect a whole lot more players than anyone will ever admit used steroids. How many of them hit baseballs like Manny Ramirez?”

David Ortiz (via “It’s crazy, man. That’s the last thing I was expecting was for him to retire, and go through all of that situation. I don’t know all of the details. I’m like you guys, and just hearing about it. I’m just waiting for all of the rest of the stuff to come out. But it’s sad, man, that a player with that much talent and an unbelievable career . . . to get him out of the game with all of the negativity.”

Buster Olney (via ESPN Insider): “Let’s be real about this: Manny Ramirez wasn’t the only one who cashed in on Manny being Manny. The Indians and the Red Sox and the Dodgers made money from his production and from that what-a-wild-crazy-guy image — Mannywood? — and the media feasted, as well; there were probably more words written and spoken about Manny in the past decade than any player not named Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens.”

Ozzie Guillen (via “That’s the first thing I told the players in the meetings: They’re not playing around. If you get caught, you should be punished, because now we know for the last five or six years they’re after this, and any players that do that, they’re taking a risk. They even check me, and I’m not even playing. That’s why I have this big belly.”

Nick Cafardo: “We always said Ramirez was oblivious to the world around him. But you just wonder if one day he’ll stop and think, what on earth have I done? He had it all. For a shy kid who grew up in New York City after coming to this country from the Dominican Republic, he made people say “Wow.’’ He did that when scouts first laid eyes on him and he did it again yesterday, but for the wrong reason. So long, Manny. You could have been the greatest.”

Andre Ethier (via the Los Angeles Times): “I remember watching him playing growing up. You never really think you’ll get a chance to play with him. It’s tough to see. It’s unfortunate. I guess when you’re at the top and you feel yourself slipping, you’ll find any way to stay there.”

David Schoenfield: “I’m going to miss him. Baseball is a long, slow grind, full of players often indistinguishable from one another. Manny made the sport more entertaining, and I don’t think you’ll find too many Indians or Red Sox fans who will tell you they wouldn’t have wanted him on their teams.”

Johnny Damon (via the St. Petersburg Times): “It’s unfortunate. I don’t know everything that’s been brought up. All I know is he was a great teammate and a great player, and I think the other part is just an unfortunate thing. It’s going to be sad not seeing Manny Ramirez around a baseball field.”

Maybe Alcides Escobar shouldn’t bat leadoff

Alcides Escobar
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Alcides Escobar finished with a .292 OBP this year. He came in at .246 in 117 at-bats in August and .257 in 109 at-bats between September and October, so he wasn’t exactly flying high entering the postseason. Still, that didn’t stop Ned Yost from putting him into the leadoff spot for Thursday’s Game 1 against the Astros.

Yost finally did reconsider hitting Escobar first in September. It took Alex Gordon‘s return to health, plus the previous addition of Ben Zobrist to the lineup, in order to make that happen. However, it didn’t stick. Escobar hit ninth in each of his starts from Sept. 7-26, batting .236 with a .276 OBP during that span. With five games left to go, he was suddenly returned to the leadoff spot. The Royals went on to win all five games. Yost saw it as a sign, even though Escobar went 5-for-22 with no walks in those games.

Escobar went 0-for-4 in Thursday’s loss to the Astros. He did not swing at the first pitch of the game, which probably explains the defeat.

It’s been difficult to argue with Yost since last year’s World Series run and this year’s incredible run out of the game. The blind spot with Escobar, though, gets rather infuriating. One can defend hitting him leadoff against the Astros’ lefties. His career OBP against southpaws is .319 (.316 this year). Against righties, he’s the most obvious No. 9 hitter alive, with a career .258/.290/.342 line (.252/.284/.314 this year). He’s not a pace-setter. He’s not a spark plug. He’s a liability.

Astros top Royals in Game 1 of ALDS

Houston Astros' Jose Altuve, left, celebrates with teammate Luis Valbuena after scoring a run during the first inning in Game 1 of baseball's American League Division Series against the Kansas City Royals, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, in Kansas City. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

After shutting out the Yankees in the AL Wild Card game on Tuesday, the Astros beat the Royals 5-2 in Game 1 of the ALDS on Thursday at Kauffman Stadium. Road teams are now 4-0 to begin the 2015 postseason.

The Astros grabbed an early 3-0 lead against Yordano Ventura through two innings. Chris Young took over for the Royals after a 47-minute rain delay and was very effective for the most part, allowing just a solo homer to George Springer over four innings while striking out seven batters. Colby Rasmus, who homered in the Wild Card game, took Ryan Madson deep in the eighth inning to give the Astros’ bullpen some extra breathing room.

Collin McHugh stayed in after the rain delay and ended up tossing six innings while allowing just four hits and one walk. Kendrys Morales did all the damage against him with a pair of solo homers. He’s the first Royals player to hit two home runs in a postseason game since George Brett in the 1985 ALCS.

The Royals’ offense showed some signs of life in the bottom of the eighth inning with back-to-back two-out hits against Will Harris, but Oliver Perez got Eric Hosmer to foul out to end the threat. Luke Gregerson tossed a scoreless ninth inning to finish off the victory.

Consistent with their identity during the regular season, the Astros won despite striking out 14 times. The same goes for the Royals, as they struck out just four times. Despite putting the ball into play more often, the Kansas City lineup wasn’t able to muster anything aside from the home runs by Morales.

Game 2 of the ALDS will begin Friday at 3:45 p.m. ET. Scott Kazmir will pitch for the Astros and Johnny Cueto will get the ball for the Royals.

George Springer homers to extend Astros’ lead over Royals

Houston Astros' George Springer (4) celebrates with teammates after scoring a run in the first inning in Game 1 of baseball's American League Division Series against the Kansas City Royals, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, in Kansas City. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
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After Kendrys Morales brought the Royals within one run in the bottom of the fourth inning with his second solo home run of the game, George Springer took Chris Young deep in the top of the fifth to extend the Astros’ lead to 4-2 in Game 1 of the ALDS.

According to Statcast, the ball traveled an estimated 422 feet and left Springer’s bat at 109 mph. Royals fans are happy it was just a solo home run. It could have been worse, as Jose Altuve singled to lead off the fifth inning before being thrown out trying to steal second base during Springer’s at-bat.

The Royals will try to answer as we move to the bottom of the fifth inning at Kauffman Stadium.