If it weren’t for that “the Braves shouldn’t have kept Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz” thing earlier this morning this would have been the silliest thing I read all day:
[Manny] Ramirez complained toward the end of last season that playing the
outfield wore down his legs. He seriously considered opting out of his
contract to return to the American League for a designated-hitter role,
but instead exercised a $20 million option to remain a Dodger when it
was clear no other club would come close to that salary.
The notion that Ramirez would have even considered walking away from $20 million for a shot at some of those big, big DH dollars everyone is throwing out these days is pretty laughable. Less laughable than disturbing is the notion that Manny Ramirez — who, you may recall, took an extended breather during the middle of last season — says he needs even more rest for his weary legs. Because unless he’s back on the hormones, he’s gonna be expected to play more than 104 games out there this year.
Despite all of the offseason turmoil, I still think the Dodgers are the favorites in the NL West, but if Manny Ramirez is truly breaking down as fast as he claims to be, it may very well be a long season in Los Angeles.
On Friday, it was reported that free agent Hanley Ramirez was under federal and state investigation, though no one knew for what, exactly. Michele McPhee of ABC News said, “Obviously I know absolutely nothing about sports or Hanley Ramirez’s stats, but what I do know is crime. And there has been some reports about a FaceTime phone call that was made between a man during a car stop. After that car stop, police recovered a significant amount of drugs. And during that car stop, the suspect claimed that one of the items found in the vehicle belonged to Hanley Ramirez and then FaceTimed [Ramirez] in front of police. And that car stop coordinated with the timing of his release from the Red Sox.”
The suspect was reportedly transporting 435 grams of fentanyl and a “large amount” of crack cocaine. But it turns out that Ramirez’s name only got mentioned because the suspect was hoping to avoid arrest. Ramirez is not actually under investigation, Shelley Murphy and Evan Allen of the Boston Globe report.
The attorney of the suspect said that his client grew up in the Dominican Republic with Ramirez and used the former Red Sox DH’s name “to get the cops off his back, which didn’t work.” During the traffic stop, a trooper asked permission to open a brown cardboard box found in the rear cargo area of the suspect’s jeep. The suspect said the box contained books, shipped to him by Ramirez’s mother to deliver to Ramirez in Boston. The suspect FaceTimed Ramirez to back up his story, but Ramirez said he wasn’t aware that the suspect was on his way to visit. Ramirez gave permission to the trooper to open the box. He did, and found a gift bag with two kilograms of fentanyl. The suspect was arrested on drug trafficking charges.
Ramirez, 34, hit a disappointing .254/.313/.395 with six home runs and 29 RBI in 195 plate appearances for the Red Sox before being designated for assignment on May 25 and released on June 1. The Red Sox maintain that Ramirez’s release had nothing to do with anything off-the-field.