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.”

Tigers in discussions with Jordan Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.

Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.

Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.

Blue Jays still focused on upgrading their pitching

Marco Estrada
AP Photo/LM Otero

Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.

The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.

Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.

Report: Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”

Jonathan Papelbon
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports spoke to an anonymous baseball executive, who said that Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”. The Nationals are hoping to trade both Papelbon and the man he displaced, Drew Storen.

Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done. The 35-year-old finished the last season with a combined 2.13 ERA, 24 saves, and a 56/12 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Nationals.

The Nationals owe Papelbon $11 million for the 2016 season.

Minor league home run king Mike Hessman retires

NEW YORK - JULY 29:  Mike Hessman #19 of the New York Mets bats against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 29, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Cardinals 4-0.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reports that corner infielder Mike Hessman has retired from professional baseball after 20 seasons. Hessman hit 433 home runs in the minor leagues, an all-time record. He broke Buzz Arlett’s record this past August and with style as #433 was a grand slam.

Hessman, 37, was selected in the 16th round of the 1996 draft by the Braves and remained with the organization through the 2004 season. He then went to the Tigers from 2005-09, the Mets in 2010, then drifted into the Astros and Reds’ farm systems before returning to the Tigers for the last two years.

Hessman took 250 plate appearances at the major league level, batting .188/.272/.422 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI.