Is Manny Mailing It In?
"There was a time when he was a dominant offensive force at
the end of games." -- Peter Gammons on Manny Ramirez
(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)
Gammons Says What You've Been Thinking:
He's Never Seen Manny So Disinterested
5.12.05 ESPN's Peter Gammons on WEEI's Big Show: "One thing I find interesting, that... and I think he gets, after his early days in Boston, he gets a wonderful ride, but the complete disappearance of Manny Ramirez as a real player. Yeah he hit a home run on the breaking ball yesterday, but he's a .260 hitter with a .880 OPS since the All-Star break last year. Doesn't there come a point where that becomes a little bit of a concern, he gets hit on the leg and doesn't play two games. I don't know. I find him as distracted as any time I can ever remember him... He just doesn't seem to be into the games at all. There was a time when he was a dominant offensive force at the end of games."
Steve Buckley: "And his defense is as lacking now as it's ever been."
Gammons: "I just wonder, this is a long time, same OPS since the All-Star game as Mark Loretta. Is that what you want for $20 million in a left fielder who's a defensive and baserunning liability?...Then they had him traded to the Mets this winter too... There are lot of things, just the way he walks and so forth, they wanted him to hit fourth and not third and he wouldn't do that. I don't know... I'm amazed a little bit that he gets the pass that he gets... maybe it's resignation. I had a fan come up to me at the ballpark and say "how in the world could you not pick Manny as one of the 5 best players in baseball? And I went "umm what?!? Kidding me?" I mean there were other priorities, the qualifications for the other selections were defense, baserunning, accountability, leadership. But I was just amazed, the guy was really angry about it. ...Their best player is their catcher."
(Michael Felger; "Because he brings all those intangibles) "Well he produces too."
Michael Felger: "You can't say he (Varitek) produces on the level of Manny Ramirez, Manny's the best right-handed hitter in the game when he's Manny Ramirez, you can't compare the two..." (talk about great Tek is)
Gammons: "Well he (Tek) understands and accepts responsibility. He's a very intelligent man. And accountability is to me something that's very important in baseball. And I think David Ortiz is an extremely accountable person. He got his contract although he is obviously one of the most underpaid guys in terms of his contract. Doesn't seem to be a problem. Goes out, doesn't brag about it, he's a leader in his own way. He is their, not Manny Ramirez, excuse me Michael you're wrong, David Ortiz is their best offensive player. NO question about it. No comparison. He is a dominant force in the lineup."
Felger: "Because he's hitting better right now but you're saying..."
Gammo: "HE's been better for two years Michael, watch the games. Watch what happens when good pitchers are on the mound. Watch against guys who throw hard, who throw inside. And watch what happens. I'm not talking about garbage time numbers, I'm talking about numbers that mean something."
Felger: "Pete, I'm with you, I'm just.. I'm just saying that I've heard people say it time and time again 'the best right-handed hitter in the game,' that's all I hear about Manny Ramirez, the best right-handed hitter in the game..."
Gammo: "WHO SAID THAT? Who said that?
Felger: "About Manny Ramirez? That's his title. That's all I hear about Manny Ramirez."
Gammo: "Oh, have you ever heard of Albert Pujols? Don't, don't make a fool of... please that's foolish to say that, that's sad and sort of foolish... it's not worth a discussion. There are only two players in a comparable period of time in HIStory who have the numbers that Pujols does and that's Williams and DiMaggio in their first 4-1/4 seasons. He's the dominant right-handed hitter in modern baseball."
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(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jonathan Wiggs)