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Joe Girardi takes job with MLB Network

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The only thing surprising about this is that it took until February to announce it. From MLB Network:

MLB Network today announced that former MLB player and manager and four-time World Series champion Joe Girardi has joined its lineup of on-air personalities as an analyst appearing across the network’s studio programming. Girardi will make his debut today on MLB Tonight at 6:00 p.m. ET alongside MLB Network analysts Mike Lowell and Bill Ripken, and host Greg Amsinger.

Girardi has done some work on FOX and has had various radio gigs in the past so he’s not a babe in the woods out there, but it’s hard to see this as anything approaching a permanent move to media. It’s a temp job, right?

That’s because Girardi is likely to be a top candidate for managerial jobs next offseason or, perhaps, even sooner. It’s not like the Yankees got rid of him because he can’t manage anymore. His track record is well-established and, just this past season, he took a team that was expected to be rebuilding to Game 7 of the ALCS. It was more of a “time for a change” kind of thing. Girardi remains one of the best skippers in the business.

In the meantime, expect a lot of “well, it’s not what you want,” responses when asked to break down bad player performances and stuff. Should be awesome.

The Red Sox to 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.