Rangers release Manny Ramirez

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Rangers designated hitter Lance Berkman is remains on the disabled list, but they still weren’t impressed enough by Manny Ramirez to give him a shot in the majors and instead have released the 41-year-old from Triple-A.

Ramirez hit .259 with three homers and a .698 OPS in 30 games for Round Rock, including a measly .282 slugging percentage in 22 games since the All-Star break.

As general manager Jon Daniels explained to reporters in announcing the move: “Based on our evaluation, there was not a spot on the club for Manny at this time.” And since “this time” for a 41-year-old tends to be as good as things are ever going to be again, it’s probably safe to say the door is shut on Ramirez’s big-league career.

Ramirez has obviously become a sideshow recently, but if he’s done he finishes as a .312 career hitter with 555 homers and 1,329 walks in 2,302 games for the ninth-best OPS in baseball history. Laugh all you want, but the guy was an absolute monster for 15 seasons.

Must-Click Link: Remembering Eddie Grant the first major leaguer to die in combat

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As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.

The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.

Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.

Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.

The Indians are unveiling a Frank Robinson statue on Sunday

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The Cleveland Indians will unveil a Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field on Saturday.

Robinson’s tenure in Cleveland was not long, but it was historic. On April 8, 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. He was a player-manager. One of the last ones, in fact. He spent two years in that role and then a third year — a partial year anyway — as a manager only. Robinson would go on to manage the Giants, Orioles and the Expos/Nationals, compiling a career record of 1065-1176 in 16 seasons. He is now a top MLB executive.

Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame player as well, lodging 21 seasons for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He won two MVP awards and hit for the Triple Crown in 1966. Overall he hit 586 home runs – 10th all time – and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. For an inner-circle Hall of Famer with that kind of resume he is still, strangely enough, underrated. I guess that happens when your contemporaries are Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.

Anyway, congrats to Frank Robinson for yet another well-deserved honor in a career full of them.