There were all manner of reactions to the Athletics signing Manny Ramirez yesterday, but the one that stood out to me the most was the reaction — across multiple tweets — from Scott Miller of CBS Sports.com.
Miller is not at all pleased with the fact that Ramirez has a job now. And he has already decided how he’s going to cover the story:
Um, OK. I guess it’d be silly to actually go to Phoenix, see how Ramirez is doing with the A’s, how he’s getting on with the players and coaching staff, what he has to say about his past transgressions and future prospects and then write about that. Much more prudent to sharpen knives and be determined to rip everyone now. Saves time, you know.
Miller went on to say that we live in a “twisted world” because Ramirez has a job now while Johnny Damon doesn’t. When it was pointed out to him that Damon likely would have a job now too if he’d accept $500K to play, Miller said that “economics are a large part of the twisted world we live in.” He went on to call the signing “reprehensible” again in a later tweet.
When it was suggested that he was being unfair in judging the story beforehand, Miller said this:
So there it is: a national sportswriter’s coverage of a minor signing by a non-contender is going to be influenced by that writer’s scorned feelings. He gave Ramirez a chance, you see, and his generosity was not rewarded. So it’s time for “sharpening the knives” and “ripping” him and the organization which signed him.
Seems reasonable to me. Oy.
The news has gone from bad to worse for Dodgers’ left-hander Julio Urias, who is scheduled for anterior capsule surgery on his left shoulder next Tuesday and expected to be sidelined through the middle of the 2018 season. His MRI came back negative on Wednesday, giving the Dodgers some hope that the 20-year-old’s bout of shoulder inflammation wasn’t masking any structural damage, but the pain lingered several days later and prompted further concern from the club. The procedure will be performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache.
Urias was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City in late May and placed on the disabled list with left shoulder discomfort several weeks into his assignment. At the major league level, he owned a 5.40 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 4.2 SO/9 through 23 1/3 innings, going 0-2 in five starts with Los Angeles. He made a brief rebound in Triple-A, posting three wins and striking out 17 of 67 batters in 17 1/3 innings before landing on the DL.
It’s a tough blow for the southpaw, who had yet to hit his stride in the majors before getting sidelined with shoulder issues. The Dodgers were especially mindful of this outcome for Urias, and had taken preventative measures to protect his arm by establishing a strict innings limit last season. According to club president Andrew Friedman, there’s a small silver lining here: while Urias’ injury will keep him out of work for at least 12 months, he doesn’t appear to have sustained any damage to his labrum or rotator cuff, and could be facing a much more streamlined recovery process as a result. Whether he’ll be able to rebound once he takes the mound again remains to be seen.
Tigers’ right-handed reliever Francisco Rodriguez was released on Friday, per a team announcement. The club recalled fellow right-hander Bruce Rondon from Triple-A Toledo in a corresponding move.
The former closer got the boot after losing his closing role in early May, giving left-hander Justin Wilson a chance to impress at the back end of the bullpen. It’s been a rough year for Rodriguez, who manufactured six blown saves and a 7.82 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 25 1/3 innings for the Tigers. The final straw, it seemed, came with Robinson Cano‘s grand slam in the seventh inning of the Tigers’ 6-9 loss to the Mariners on Thursday.
While the demotion to a clean-up role and an apparent lack of communication caused Rodriguez considerable frustration, he’s two years removed from his last dominant performance as a major league closer and has shown few signs of returning to form. His recent slump doesn’t diminish the impressive totals he’s racked up over his 16-year career — 437 saves and six All-Star nominations among them — but if he can’t break out of it soon, he may not receive the kind of high leverage role he’s seeking with another big league team, either.