Tag:Manny Ramirez
Posted on: February 4, 2012 3:03 pm

Orioles, A's show interest in Manny Ramirez

When Manny Ramirez said in December that he wanted to return to baseball, it was fair to ask if any team would -- or should -- care.

Two months later, Ramirez hasn't yet signed but there is interest. According to sources, Ramirez has been talking to both the A's and Orioles about a deal to play in 2012, and indications are both teams have significant interest in signing him.

Ramirez still needs to serve the drug suspension that pushed him into "retirement" last April, and he would miss the first 50 games of the season.

The A's and Orioles both make sense for Ramirez, as both had designated hitters are gone via free agency (Hideki Matsui for the A's, Vladimir Guerrero for the O's). And both teams take a chance, because neither is expected to contend this year.

The Orioles also have a connection, as new Orioles general manager Dan Duquette signed Ramirez to a six-year, $120 million contract 11 years ago with the Red Sox. As for the A's, owner Lew Wolff said last week that he wasn't opposed to adding Ramirez.

It's hard to know how effective Ramirez can be now, at age 39 (and he'll be nearly 40 by the time the 50-game suspension is up). Ramirez was 1-for-17 in his five games last April with the Rays, and he drove in just two runs in 24 games for the White Sox after they picked him up at midseason in 2010.

Category: MLB
Posted on: September 14, 2011 4:54 pm

Rockies' Alfonzo gets 100-game drug ban

First Manny Ramirez, now Eliezer Alfonzo.

Never thought you'd hear those two names linked, did you?

Ramirez retired this spring, when baseball told him he'd be suspended for 100 games for a second drug violation. Wednesday, Alfonzo became the second player to face a 100-game suspension, and the first to actually have his suspension enforced.

Rather than retire, he said he didn't do it.

In a statement released by the players' union, the 32-year-old Rockies catcher denied using drugs, even though baseball said he had tested positive for an unnamed performance enhancing substance.

"I am surprised by this positive test," Alfonzo said. "I learned my lesson in 2008 and have not taken any prohibited substances since then. With the union's help, I intend to fight this suspension and look forward to appearing before the arbitrator in the near future."

In drug suspensions, normal appeals are heard and ruled on before baseball makes an announcement. So Alfonzo has already presented his case once, and had it turned down.

Alfonzo has played just 25 games with the Rockies this year, after playing 31 games with Triple-A Colorado Springs. He previously played in the big leagues with the Giants and Mariners, and in the minor leagues with the Cardinals, Brewers, Cubs and Marlins.

His previous suspension, for 50 games, came in 2008 when he was with the Giants.

"I made a mistake and want to apologize to my family, my teammates, the fans and the Giants organization," Alfonzo said in a statement then. "I know what I did was wrong and now I will pay the penalty. As a father, I now have to look my children in the eye and explain to them that I have made a big mistake, one unfortunately that they are going to have to deal with as well as me."

Posted on: April 26, 2011 8:31 pm
Edited on: April 26, 2011 8:34 pm

The NL All-Star ballot -- with 2 Sky Sox on it

They tell me this is the National League All-Star ballot.

Funny, because I keep finding guys from the Colorado Springs Sky Sox on it.

Yeah, there's Ian Stewart, the Triple-A Sky Sox third baseman. And Brad Emaus, the new Sky Sox second baseman.

And yes, this is the National League All-Star ballot.

These things happen, and there's not that much baseball can do about it. The Rockies sent Stewart to Triple-A on April 19. The Mets dumped Emaus the same day, returning the Rule 5 pick to the Blue Jays, who then traded him to the Rockies.

The NL All-Star ballot also includes Brandon Belt, who began the year as the Giants first baseman, but was sent down to Triple-A Fresno on April 20 when Cody Ross came off the disabled list.

To put Belt on the ballot, the Giants had to leave Ross -- their 2010 playoff hero -- off of it. Aubrey Huff is listed as one of the three outfielders, along with Pat Burrell and Andres Torres.

Each team is allowed one player at each position.

The ballot was put together late enough so that Manny Ramirez is not on it. Johnny Damon is listed as the Rays' designated hitter, with Sam Fuld on the ballot in the outfield.

All-Star balloting began Tuesday, and continues through June 30.
Posted on: April 13, 2011 8:26 pm

All they proved is how much we don't know

So after all that time and all that money, and with actual subpoena power and the ability to compel testimony under oath, the government couldn't even prove that Barry Bonds knew he used steroids.

Well, good. I don't feel so bad.

Seriously, if they can't prove anything about Bonds other than that he somehow obstructed justice, what chance do the rest of us have?

We all know Barry Bonds used steroids, right? And with all that power and all that money (what a waste!), they couldn't prove it.

And we're supposed to have known about all those other players? We're supposed to have told you who used and who didn't? We're supposed to know now, and decide who belongs in the Hall of Fame and who cheated and doesn't belong?

I'd love to tell you. I'd love to know, if only because it would make filling out that Hall of Fame ballot a lot less excruciating every December.

But with the exception of the guys who failed tests -- Rafael Palmeiro and Manny Ramirez, that means you -- we know a lot less than the government knew about Bonds.

And they still couldn't convince a jury.

I'm not sure why they couldn't. I'm not sure I care why.

But I do know this:

I don't feel so bad.
Posted on: April 11, 2011 3:30 pm

A worthwhile (believe me) look at steroids

For a few minutes last Friday, the steroid issue was alive again in baseball.

And then it faded away again.

My sense is that fans care about Manny Ramirez, but that his latest positive steroid test -- and his resulting sudden retirement -- didn't cause many people to rethink steroids and baseball in general. Neither, it seems, has the Barry Bonds trial.

If you truly don't care, feel free to skip on to the next post in this blog. If you do, read on, and also check out my friend Steve Kettmann's interesting essay on the Huffington Post website.

Kettmann has credibility on steroids, having written an August 2000 piece in the New York Times on the subject, and also having ghost-written Jose Canseco's book, Juiced , which brought steroids to more people's attention (and which has been proven true, in many respects).

Kettmann contends in the Huffington Post essay that Bonds will eventually be voted into the Hall of Fame. I think he may be right, although I think it will take years and years and years (and may well come from some form of veterans committee). It's pretty clear that in the next few years, no one with any significant steroid connection is going to be voted in.

But years from now, it's easy to see that changing.

I'm not sure how many of you care. I'm not going to tell you to care. But if you do, take a few moments to read what Steve wrote.
Posted on: April 8, 2011 6:22 pm

Ortiz on Manny: 'It's crazy'

BOSTON -- Manny Ramirez was once a huge part of the Red Sox clubhouse.

Manny Ramirez has often been a big topic in the Red Sox clubhouse.

But when the news broke Friday that Ramirez is retiring from baseball because of another drug problem, the Red Sox were far more interested in their first win of the season.

Still, Manny is Manny. It's hard to ignore him.

"It's crazy, man," David Ortiz said. "I don't really know the details of how everything went down. It's sad."

Category: MLB
Posted on: March 19, 2011 10:41 am

The Rays want to (look) like Manny

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – Manny Ramirez wanted the Rays to like him.

Or did he want them to look like him?

Put it this way: No one here is going to ask Manny when he’s going to cut his hair.

Instead, in manager Joe Maddon’s latest version of team-building, the other Rays are growing hair.

“Let’s all be like Manny,” Maddon said. “He’s pretty good. He’s a Hall of Famer.”

So while Manny still has his dreadlocks, they compete on this team with bench coach Dave Martinez’s full beard, and with Evan Longoria’s mullet, and with Johnny Damon’s fauxhawk, and with whatever that is atop J.P. Howell’s head.

Maddon insists he’s going to grow his hair long, too.

“This offseason, I was going through some slides from 1978, and I had really long hair,” Maddon said. “Then I came here and saw Davey’s beard, and I thought in some subliminal way it was telling me this was the time to grow hair.”

So, in a way only Maddon can, he made it a team thing. He told everyone to grow hair or beards or whatever, and he told Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times that “I want us to be the hirsute club this year. I encourage the growth of follicles.”

It’s nothing new for Maddon, who is always looking for an off-beat way to make the Rays a team.

“Anything that brings us together,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be more batting practice or more time in the video room.”

Earlier this spring, when CBSSports.com colleague Scott Miller was in Port Charlotte to do the Rays camp report , Manny spoke with him on camera and later asked him to “Put in a good word for me.”

It turns out he didn’t need Scott’s help.

It turns out the Rays already liked him. It turns out they even want to look like him.

Category: MLB
Posted on: February 21, 2011 11:41 am
Edited on: February 21, 2011 7:37 pm

Ethier: The Dodgers' Jeter?

PHOENIX -- Can Andre Ethier become the Dodgers' Derek Jeter?

Perhaps not, but if the Dodgers are going to be successful, Ethier is going to need to do more than just hit. This is a team in need of some clubhouse leadership, and it sure seems that Ethier is a guy who needs to provide it.

"They need leaders who can step up," Ethier said this morning, a day before the Dodgers' first full-squad workout of the spring. "Yeah, I can be one of them."

Ethier said that in offseason conversations with new manager Don Mattingly, Mattingly referenced Jeter.

"Donny said to me that Jeter is very quiet and soft-spoken most of the time, but he leads by example," Ethier said. "That's the type of presence we need."

"I told him that to me, the reason the Yankees have been where they've been, it's all because of Jeter," Mattingly said. "When your best players play the hardest, that's leadership, and that's all Andre has to do."

Mattingly said he doesn't need Ethier to become more vocal, and pointed out to him that Jeter isn't always a vocal leader, either.

Ethier has other examples to draw on. He watched what Manny Ramirez did after coming over to the Dodgers in midseason 2008, and is also good friends with Dustin Pedroia.

"You learn from Manny, how he was so quick to complement players on anything they did," Ethier said.

Ethier, who turns 29 in April, is in his sixth year with the Dodgers. It's time for him to take on that role, too.

"You need guys like that, and that's something we've been lacking," Ethier said. "For me to make myself a better player, it's not the playing side that's going to dictate it. That could help in the long run more than hitting an extra home run a week."

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