Manny Ramirez cost Bob Melvin his “chance at greatness”

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There’s all kinds of Manny Ramirez hate floating around the web right now. It’s expected and understandable and you kinda gotta let it run its course.

But some of it is just plain insane. Like this post at Business Insider by Cork Gains. In it he argues that Manny Ramirez was responsible for Bob Melvin losing his job twice — first in Seattle and then in Arizona — because of his cheating.  Seems the 2003 Red Sox beat out the Mariners for the Wild Card and the 2008 Dodgers came back to overtake the Diamondbacks for the NL West title.  Bob Melvin was fired soon after each of these occurrences.  Gaines characterizes it thusly:

That makes two instances in which Manny’s cheating cost Melvin-led squads a fair shot at the playoffs. And in each case, if Melvin’s teams make the postseason, he is probably not fired the following year. Nobody can argue that Manny was a great baseball player. But his cheating cost others a chance at greatness. And maybe nobody lost more than Bob Melvin. Does that sound like a Hall-of-Famer?

Yes, as I’ve always argued, the only thing that kept Bob Melvin from achieving “greatness” as a manager was that cheating, meddling Manny Ramirez!  He’s bad news, I tells ya!  He’s Agrajag to Manny’s Arthur Dent, continually reincarnated as the next Casey freakin’ Stengel, only to be subsequently killed by Manny, except unlike Arthur Dent, Ramirez did it with malice aforethought.

Um, OK. I may have gone too geeky with that last reference. But the article is still bonkers.

UPDATE: But amazingly, it’s not even the most bonkers thing this author has written about Manny Ramirez in the last 24 hours!

Video: Bryce Harper crushes a home run to the Chase Field concourse

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Aaron Judge may be the talk of the town right now, but let’s not forget some of Major League Baseball’s more established sluggers. Take the Nationals’ Bryce Harper, for instance, who jumped on a full count during the first inning of Saturday’s game and postmarked the ball to the center field concourse in Chase Field.

Harper’s mammoth hit was the first career home run allowed by Diamondbacks’ rookie Anthony Banda. Banda quickly recovered with an inning-ending strikeout to Ryan Zimmerman, but was booted from his big league debut after Harper, Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon combined for a three-run spread in the sixth.

The first-inning homer also served another purpose: it extended Harper’s hitting streak to 15 games, the longest current streak in MLB this season. He’ll need four more games to tie the 19-game streak Royals’ infielder/outfielder Whit Merrifield established back in June.

The Nationals currently lead the Diamondbacks 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Chi Chi Gonzalez to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Rangers’ right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez is slated for Tommy John surgery, according to a report by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Gonzalez was placed on the 60-day disabled list back in early April with a partial UCL tear and was working towards a throwing program before getting sidelined with more elbow pain. He’s expected to miss the entirety of the 2018 season while recovering from the surgery.

This is the second straight season that has been derailed for Gonzalez due to injury. The 25-year-old starter pitched just 10 1/3 innings in 2016 after recovering from a torn UCL, and was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock to finish out the year after compiling an 8.71 ERA, 7.8 BB/9 and 6.1 SO/9 in three starts with the club. He showed more promise in Triple-A with a 4.70 ERA, 2.9 BB/9 and 5.9 SO/9 through 24 starts and 138 innings.

It’s a tough blow for the Rangers, who have seen Gonzalez healthy in just one major league season to date. General manager Jon Daniels told reporters that a recent MRI showed signs of weakening in the ligament, which disrupted the team’s plans to have the right-hander stick to a six- to eight-week recovery timetable after getting a platelet-rich plasma injection (via Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram). The surgery is expected to take place next week and will put Gonzalez’s earliest return date sometime in September 2018.