Manny Ramirez

What they’re saying about Manny Ramirez’s retirement

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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 WEEI.com): “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 CSNNE.com): “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 MLB.com): “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.”

Pirates sign left-hander Cory Luebke

Cory Luebke Getty
Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
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Eric O'Flaherty wasn’t the only reclamation project added by the Pirates today, as the club also announced that they have signed left-hander Cory Luebke to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Luebke once looked like a solid rotation piece for the Padres, but he hasn’t thrown a pitch in the majors since April 27, 2012. He’s undergone a pair of Tommy John surgeries since. Now 30 years old, he logged seven innings in the minors last season before requiring a procedure to remove loose bodies around a nerve in his forearm. The Padres cut ties with him in November after declining a $7.5 million club option for 2016.

It’s hard to count on much from Luebke at this point, but he told Adam Berry of MLB.com that he feels healthy and hopes to compete for a bullpen job in the spring.

White Sox reportedly considering Ian Desmond

Ian Desmond
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
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Many have speculated on a potential match between the White Sox and Ian Desmond this winter, but we haven’t heard much in the way of legitimate interest. That could be changing with spring training right around the corner, as MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that Chicago is among the teams considering the free agent shortstop.

After turning the page on Alexei Ramirez this offseason, the White Sox currently have Tyler Saladino in line to serve as their starting shortstop in 2016. The 26-year-old is considered a strong defender, but he batted .225/.267/.335 with four homers over 254 plate appearances as a rookie in 2015. Desmond is coming off a nightmare of a walk year and has seen his strikeout rate climb by 8.5 percent since 2012, but he possesses more offensive upside and it’s not hard to imagine a bounceback campaign while calling U.S. Cellular Field home.

Similar to fellow free agents Yovani Gallardo and Dexter Fowler, Desmond is attached to draft pick compensation after turning down a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from the Nationals. It’s a big reason why a potential deal with the Rays is reported to be a “long shot.” Chicago’s No. 10 overall pick in this year’s draft is protected, so they would give up their No. 28 overall pick if they sign a qualifying offer free agent like Desmond.

Pirates sign reliever Eric O’Flaherty

Eric O'Flaherty
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Left-hander Eric O'Flaherty has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Pirates that includes an invitation to spring training.

O’Flaherty was one of the best relievers in the league for the Braves from 2009-2013, posting a combined 1.99 ERA in 249 innings, but Tommy John elbow surgery derailed his career and he struggled for the A’s and Mets in 2015 while dealing with shoulder problems.

It’s tough to know if O’Flaherty is healthy at this point, but the 31-year-old southpaw certainly has a chance to be a nice reclamation project for the Pirates on a no-risk contract.

Mariano Rivera to get his plaque in Monument Park on August 14

Mariano Rivera
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The greatest closer in history is going to get the ultimate honor the New York Yankees bestow on August 14. That’s when Mariano Rivera will get his plaque in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium before a game against the Rays.

There was some chatter in the last year or two about whether the Yankees were somehow lowering their standards out there, what with guys like Tino Martinez getting honored. But if that’s something you care about it won’t matter in this instance. Rivera would’ve been worthy even if the old snobby ways had held and only inner-circle types got a plaque, what with him being a key member of five World Series-winning teams and his status as the all-time saves leader in the regular season and the postseason.

The Yankees retired Rivera’s No. 42 in 2013. He’ll get his plaque in August. Then, on the first ballot for which he is eligible, he’ll be voted into the Hall of Fame, likely with a percentage in the mid-to-high 90s.