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August 30, 2010

Manny Ramirez headed to the Chicago White Sox

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The Mannywood era in LA is finally over. The Dodgers were in Colorado facing the Rockies in an afternoon game. With the bases loaded in the 6th inning, Manny Ramirez came up as a pinch hitter. His team was down 8-2 at the time, needing Manny to deliver a clutch hit. After the first pitch of the count was called a strike, Manny wasn’t happy with the call and turned around and said something to home plate umpire Gary Cederstrom and was thrown out of the game. The Dodgers eventually lost the game 10 to 5.

With his team needing a big hit of some sort, Manny decided to be Manny. He was boisterous, selfish and argumentative, and it could be the point which changed the complexion of the game. You could just tell he didn’t really care what he was doing because he looked like he just wanted to get out of there and go to the White Sox already. He already had a bad departure in Boston and now leaves the Dodgers the very same way.

Ramirez is in the final year of his 2 year, $45 million dollar deal, he has about $3.825 million remaining on it for the rest of the season. The Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays all made a claim for Ramirez, but the Chicago White Sox ended up getting him. The White Sox and Dodgers have until 1:30 p.m. EST Tuesday to complete a trade.

There are reports out there that the two clubs are trying to work out a trade that presumably would involve a high level prospect going from the White Sox to the Dodgers. If that were to happen that would mean the Dodgers would pay a small percentage of the remaining contract that Ramirez is making. If a deal can’t be made, then Los Angeles could also just let him go to Chicago who would pay the rest of his salary.

White Sox are hoping that with a change of scenery Ramirez can become energized again and help them catch the Twins and win the Central. Back in 2008 when the Dodgers got Manny Ramirez near the deadline, he hit for a .396 average with 17 homeruns and 53 rbis in 53 games to lead the Dodgers to the NL West title.

This season for Ramirez has been a complete disaster. He has been hampered by right leg injuries and missed a fair bit of time. However, he is still batting .311 with eight homers and 40 RBIs in 66 games, so while he hasn’t matched his career highs, he’s still producing in the games he’s played. For the Dodgers, who desperately lack run support, he just hasn’t played enough and doesn’t seem to be his old self at the plate.

Overall I feel it is a great pickup for the White Sox. Its a win, win situation. They are only 4.5 games back of the Twins, and need to make that push now if the want to win the Central. Ramirez is in the final year of his contract so he isn’t owed that much. If the Sox manage to make the playoffs, they’ll have added a great playoff performer and a clutch hitter. They already have a solid group of hitters but now with Manny aboard as their designated hitter, he can give them a little more punch on the offensive end and help Chicago win the division. Lets see what Manny has left in the tank.

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