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.”

Jered Weaver dealing with “dead arm”

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Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.

Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.

Ian Kinsler doesn’t think Puerto Rico or Dominican Republic players play the game the right way

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Update: Whoops…

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Earlier, Craig wrote about Dan Duquette’s dogwhistle language in his criticism of Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. We have some more dogwhistling, this time coming from Tigers (and Team U.S.) second baseman Ian Kinsler. Via Billy Witz of The New York Times:

I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.

The goal of the World Baseball Classic, created by Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball across the globe. It’s players like Puerto Rico’s Javier Baez who are doing the best job in that regard, not boring white guys from the U.S. Potential baseball fans are not swayed into liking the sport when a player hits a home run and solemnly puts his head down to stroll the bases. They get excited and energized when players show emotion, flip their bats, celebrate. Baez did more to make baseball appeal to new and lapsed audiences with his premature celebration tag than the entire U.S. team has done this tournament.

Furthermore, it is hypocritical to want to diversify the sport’s audience while squelching incoming cultures.

Jim Leyland also got in on the action:

Go Puerto Rico.