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!
Leonys Martin, outfielder for the Seattle Mariners, testified yesterday that he feared for his life after he was smuggled from Cuba by a group of men prosecutors say worked for a sports agent and a baseball trainer currently on trial for human trafficking in Miami.
Martin took the stand at the trial of Bartolo Hernandez and Julio Estrada, who face felony charges. He said that, after getting to Mexico from Cuba, men threatened to take him away. There was a kidnapping attempt against one of the men who had taken him from Cuba as well. Martin said that, eventually, he crossed the U.S.-Mexico border into Texas without any valid papers because his life was in danger and his safety was at risk.
Players like Martin who fled Cuba often hole up in Mexico while waiting to be declared free agents by Major League Baseball. There is pitched competition to sign agreements with the players in question, seeking to obtain promises of a cut of future baseball earnings for their services. Those promises can come under the threat of violence. Eventually, Martin promised to pay Hernandez and Estrada, but ceased paying them later, fomenting a lawsuit from them. In the wake of the suit, the allegations of threats and smuggling arose, leading to this trial.
Martin has been late to Mariners camp as a result of having to testify. He’ll likely report in the next day or so. The trial continues.
Josh Hamilton was already a long shot to make the Texas Rangers roster, but his shot got even longer today, as he left camp to have his reconstructed left knee examined after experiencing pain.
As Jeff Wilson reports, Hamilton felt discomfort in the knee during the Rangers’ first full-squad spring training workout yesterday. Hamilton has had 10 knee operations in career. Which is a lot of knee operations in case you were unaware.
You have to wish good luck to Hamilton, but at the same time you have to be realistic. The guy has not played in the major leagues since 2015 and even then he didn’t play well, hitting .253 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs in 50 games. He appeared in one game last year for Double-A Frisco, on April 30. He’ll be paid $24 million this year, mostly by the Angels. One suspects that this will likewise be his last spring training.