Tag:Manny Ramirez
Posted on: February 20, 2011 11:17 am
Edited on: February 20, 2011 12:00 pm

Morning Pepper: Castillo finally reports to Mets


OPEN MOUTH, INSERT FOOT: Over the last few days, the Mets (especially skipper Terry Collins) have made no secret of their displeasure that Luis Castillo had yet to show up to spring training yet despite position players not being required to report until Saturday. Collins said he would have hoped Castillo would have showed up early to show a commitment to the team and to winning the second-base job. The media jumped on the story, also excoriating Castillo. With a $6 million salary in the final year of a contract that has been a headache for New York, the former Marlin is a prime candidate to be released at the end of spring training along with Oliver Perez.

One problem: Castillo was dealing with a medical issue in the family, as his 50-year-old brother is set to have "serious" surgery Monday, and quite understandably was spending time with his brother and dealing with the issues, much like a smattering of other ballplayers were late to camp due to visa complications, medical issues, births in the family and the like.

"I know my situation here, and I try to be practice baseball," Castillo said to ESPN New York upon arrival after speaking to Collins. "That's not easy, because my brother is my family.

To be fair to Collins, Castillo made no mention of this issue in a mid-week phone conversation and one would think it smart to mention it. That said, this is egg on the face for the new-era Mets they simply did not need. (ESPN New York)

THANKS, BUT NO THANKS: Kevin Millwood isn't interested in a minor-league deal, turning down an offer from the Yankees on a contract similar to Freddy Garcia. (New York Post)

WELCOME TO TAMPA, HERE'S A BOBBLEHEAD: Need more proof that Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez are being looked at to take up the slack on the Rays? The team will hand out a ManRam bobblehead May 29 against the Indians. Damon's turn comes July 17 against Boston. (St. Petersburg Times)

HERE'S SOME TYLENOL: Concussions are taking center stage in the NFL, but baseball has its own problems. The good news? In recent years, baseball has been paying attention to the problem and concussion-related DL injuries are on the rise. Now, Jeff Zimmerman takes a look at what we know so far. The takeaway? Even 60 days after the concussion is drastically worse than the player's production leading up to the injury. (Fangraphs)

THE RED LIGHT COMES ON: Carl Crawford has a lot to live up to in his first season in Boston with a $142-million contract in hand. How will Crawford adjust to the increased pressure and media coverage? Just fine, it appears. (Boston Globe)

STAND ASIDE, Miguel Batista: There's a new author in town as R.A. Dickey plans to publish a book in the coming year that will display the "intertwining paths of his personal and professional lives, with stories and anecdotes from his childhood and through the approaching season." Dickey mentions he will be honest about certain affairs that may not please people, but will not throw anyone under the bus. Dickey is one of the more literate ballplayers in the game and is penning the book largely himself, so it will be interesting to see how the book turns out. (New York Times)

YOU CAN PUT IT ON THE BOOOOAAARRRD... YES!: Wily Mo Pena put on a power display, with second baseman Kelly Johnson saying Pena hit eight home runs for every nine swings. Pena's known for his power and BP is a great way to showcase it, but how about hitting a curveball instead? (Arizona Republic)

LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE: As baseball readies for Opening Day, Andrew Simon takes a... unique look at what fans of each team have to look forward to. Hey, K.C. fans: "The additions of Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur should help offset the loss of Yuniesky Betancourt." (ThePostGame.com)

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: February 17, 2011 10:56 am
Edited on: February 17, 2011 11:57 am

Manny shows up to Rays camp early

Manny Ramirez One of the newest Rays isn't waiting around to meet his teammates, instead Manny Ramirez reported to Rays camp in Port Charlotte on Thursday, five days early.

"I've just got a chip on my shoulder that I want to be here and I want to get my stuff right now and show people that I can play," Ramirez told reporters, including Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times . "I'm looking forward for a new year and to go out there and see what I can do. … I want to go out there and give all I've got."

Ramirez signed a one-year deal for $2 million last month, in what could turn out to be the bargain of the offseason. In his worst season as a pro last season, Ramirez still posted a .409 on-base percentage and hit 19 home runs, while limited to 104 games.

According to Baseball-Reference.com, Ramirez had a 2.2 oWAR last season with the Dodgers and White Sox (he had a -0.7 dWAR, but that shouldn't be an issue now that he's going to be a full-time DH).

As for being a DH, Ramirez said he doesn't know exactly how that will work, since it's his first time being a full-time DH.

Ramirez says he's excited to be a Ray: "I look at it this way -- when I was at their age I was doing the same thing they're doing," Ramirez said. "Now when you have maybe one or two years left in your career you're excited because you say to yourself, I used to do that when I was their age."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: February 1, 2011 6:16 pm

Maddon: Ramirez ready to work hard

Friedman, Damon, Maddon, RamirezJoe Maddon appeared on WEEI's The Big Show on Tuesday while Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez were being outfitted with Rays jerseys.

Damon called signing with the Rays a "dream," but Maddon was more focused on what Ramirez can bring to the club. The mercurial outfielder has tons of questions surrounding him, chiefly his ability to hit. And everyone knows about his off-the-field issues, but Maddon didn't seem concerned about that.

"My hair is already white. If he could turn it brown, I would be appreciative," Maddon said, before turning serious.

"I had dinner with him last night, as you know he’s actually a very ingratiating fellow. … We had a good conversation, I explained to him about the Rays and how we do things here and he just continued to repeat the mantra that at 7 o’clock he’s going to play hard and compete. And he said that to me several times. So I think he’s at the point where he feels like he has something to prove. He’s lost some weight, he’s in great shape, he’s been working out with Evan Longoria and some other fellows. It was great to see them [Ramirez and Damon] together, it was a lot of fun."

That's all well and good, but as Cleveland, Boston, Los Angeles and Chicago have found out, keeping ManRam happy takes a lot. It was a great move for Tampa at just $2 million, but there's a lot of baseball to be played, and Ramirez is no longer the kind of player in which teams will swallow hard and deal with the bad. It's got to be all good.

In other news, Maddon had nothing but good things to say about Carl Crawford as he readies to face the new Red Sox 19 times a year:

Nobody is going to outwork Carl, I can promise you that. Whether it’s offense, hitting, base running, defense, he’s one of the few accomplished outfielders that I’ve known in the last few years that will work a full group during batting practice on a daily basis to get ready for a game. Knowing the Boston fans and how knowledgeable they are, they will appreciate -- if they show up early and watch Carl work -- that aspect … There’s nothing there to not like about Carl as a baseball player. He’s going to make some mental mistakes, but who doesn’t? I really believe the mistakes are going to be so infrequent that the fans are going to dig him regardless.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: January 31, 2011 10:43 am
Edited on: January 31, 2011 10:47 am

Ramirez arrives in Tampa

Manny being Manny has officially arrived in Tampa -- both the physical Manny Ramirez and the legendary Manny Ramirez.

Known almost as much for his flakiness as his hitting prowess, Ramirez showed off the former when St. Petersburg Times reporter Marc Topkin met him at the Tampa airport Sunday night.

Manny Ramirez Topkin has the newspaper story here , with all the usual -- Ramirez is excited to be joining the Rays and he's lost 12 pounds down to 225. But on his blog , Topkin has the Manny being Manny part:
He was pleasant enough as photographer Kathleen Flynn and I approached him as he stepped off the tram after flying in from Phoenix, and actually asked if I was there to pick him up. When I told him I'd seen a limo driver waiting for him downstairs, he laughed and said he didn't need a limo, that was just a "humble" guy.
The thing is, from the stories I've heard from former teammates and others, that's not an act, it's truly Ramirez's personality -- sure, a reporter could be there to give him a ride. Side note, when I was at the Cincinnati Post , our columnist just happened to be picking up his daughter at the airport when the Bengals' second-round pick was coming in, and he asked our columnist for a ride -- and got it. But that was the Bengals, not an actual professional sports franchise. To Ramirez, though, it was perfectly believable.

And for Ramirez, it was perfectly believable. I've heard tales of clubbies say taking Ramirez's car out to be washed and he said there was money in the glovebox to take care of it. Along with thousands of dollars in cash in the glovebox, there were apparently several uncashed paychecks -- and not small ones -- in there. A couple of years ago in spring training, the Reds were down in Fort Myers, Fla., playing the Red Sox and he talked to one of the Reds about who was on the trip and the team. And the player, a backup type, said Ken Griffey Jr., of course, didn't make the trip. That's when Manny said to him, "oh, he's still playing? I thought he retired years ago." When that story was relayed to Griffey, he laughed and laughed before adding he'd talked to Ramirez relatively recently. Again, it's just Manny, well, you know the rest.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb   on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Category: MLB
Posted on: January 22, 2011 12:01 am
Edited on: January 22, 2011 9:47 am

Guerrero bound for Baltimore?

Vladimir Guerrero Could Vladimir Guerrero be close to joining the Orioles?

That's what former Reds and Nationals general manager Jim Bowden tweets . Bowden, now working for Sirius XM, says Guerrero is "getting close to accepting humbling deal w O's."

The Baltimore Sun 's Dan Connolly is all for it , writing the Orioles are now in a position to go get Guerrero for $5-$6 million, as the music has come close to stopping on the designate hitter version of musical chairs.

The Rays reportedly landed two DHs on Friday, Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon, while the Jays added offense in Juan Rivera and Mike Napoli.

The likely suitors appear to be down to the Angels, Rangers and Orioles. The Rangers didn't pick up his option, while the Angles didn't re-sign him after 2009.

Connolly notes the Orioles could move Luke Scott to left field, which would make Felix Pie the fourth outfielder and send Nolan Reimold to Triple-A, something the team could consider anyway.

UPDATE: That's why there was a question mark on the headline (I'm never quite sure what to do with reports from Leatherpants) -- the Orioles' Andy MacPhail denied the Bowden report in an e-mail to MASN.com's Steve Melewski . "Report is not accurate," MacPhail said in the e-mail. Of course, it could just be a differing of opinion on what constitutes "close" or it could be that the Orioles haven't talked to Guerrero.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: January 21, 2011 8:26 pm
Edited on: January 21, 2011 10:28 pm

Rays adding Manny and Damon

Manny Ramirez The Rays have shored up their designated hitter spot in a big way on Friday -- not only signing Johnny Damon as expected, but also Manny Ramirez, Sports Illustrated 's Jon Heyman tweets .

CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler reported earlier the Rays were close to signing Damon, 37. Damon hit .271/.355/.401 for the Tigers in 2010, but managed just eight home runs.

Ramirez hit .298/.408/.460 with the Dodgers and White Sox last season with nine homers, appearing in just 90 games.

With Ramirez in the fold, Damon will likely have to man the outfield some for the Rays and can also serve as a babysitter for his former Red Sox teammate.

UPDATE: Damon will get $5.25 million from the Rays, plus $750,000 in attendance bonuses. Ramirez will earn $2 million, Heyman tweets .

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Category: MLB
Posted on: January 21, 2011 9:33 am
Edited on: January 21, 2011 12:17 pm

Rays close to adding Damon, Ramirez team nearing

DamonThe Rays are nearing an agreement with Johnny Damon, confirms Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.

While there is "some work to be done," it appears as if Damon will eventually sign a deal with Tampa Bay. He should help replace the leadership void left in the clubhouse and should act as the primary DH although the two-time World Series champion will also likely see some action out of left field.

Damon hit .271/.355/.401 for the Tigers in 2010 over 613 at-bats. While his home runs plummeted to eight from 24, he showed he still had enough in the tank to help a club, adding 36 doubles.

Another DH is also nearing a deal with Manny Ramirez set to find a new team by the beginning of next week, reports ESPN. The Angels, Rangers and Rays have been the most aggressive for Ramirez's services and the losing teams could turn to Vladimir Guerrero.

A source told ESPN that Ramirez is not concerned about money, but rather wants to get playing time and prove that last season's .298/.408/.460 line in 320 plate appearances is an aberration and he can do better.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: January 17, 2011 11:15 am

Angels not signing Manny

In an example of what a house of cards the mile-a-minute modern news world is, one prankster using a fake Twitter account managed to disseminate a rumor Sunday night that the Angels were about to sign Manny Ramirez.

Several news organizations, including the Toronto Star, ran with the item posted on Twitter by someone faking the identity of an ESPN reporter. But it's not true -- at least not now. The Angels have been mentioned as having interest in Ramirez, but he doesn't seem like a great fit there.

-- David Andriesen

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com