Great Moments in Cognitive Dissonance: big market/small market edition

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Here’s Associated Press columnist Tim Dahlberg on September 28th, talking about the “Moneyball” movie:

Bottom line is small market teams can’t win consistently, no matter how many numbers they crunch. The deck is stacked against them by the most important numbers in baseball — the size of a team’s payroll.

Here’s Associated Press columnist Tim Dahlberg this morning, talking about the playoffs:

No Yankees. No Red Sox. No Phillies, either, with what was supposed to be the best postseason rotation ever.

Too bad, because they were teams you could cheer for. They were also teams most of us love to cheer against.

Instead, baseball’s flirtation with parity gives us Milwaukee and St. Louis in a rematch of the 1982 World Series remembered by no one outside those two cities. And, instead of the Yankees and Red Sox in the American League, we get Detroit against Texas in what, at least on a rainy opening night Saturday, was a very tough matchup to sit through … The problem is, baseball isn’t winning. Outside of its core cities the game struggles to find a national audience. And, with the biggest cities out, that struggle gets even harder.

The common thread if you read the entirety of both of those columns, plus most other stuff Dahlberg writes: he just really doesn’t like baseball very much and, increasingly, doesn’t seem to understand it at all.

The Red Sox designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment

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The Boston Red Sox plan to activate Dustin Pedroia from the disabled list today. That’s a big deal. The move they’re making to make room for him on the roster is a big one too: they plan to designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment.

The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier first reported the impending transaction. He was told by a major league source that Ramirez was informed this morning he’ll be moved off the roster. A designation for assignment, of course, means that the Sox have seven days to either trade or release Ramirez.

Ramirez, 34, is experiencing his worst season as a major leaguer thus far, hitting .254/.313/.395 (88 OPS+) in 195 plate appearances as he split time between first base and designated hitter. Given how well Mitch Moreland has hit at first and J.D. Martinez has hit at DH, there is simply no room for Ramirez in the lineup.

Ramirez, a 14-year big league veteran, won the 2006 Rookie of the Year Award and won the NL batting title in 2009. He has been a below average hitter in three of his last four seasons, however, and long removed from his days as a middle infielder, he has little defensive value these days. That said, his fame and the possibility that he could put together a decent run if used wisely will likely get him some looks from other clubs.