If the objective, or
at least part of it, was for Texas to ensure that Manny Ramirez didn’t replace
Willie Aybar as Tampa Bay’s designated hitter, then everything worked out. If the White Sox hadn’t claimed Ramirez on
revocable waivers yesterday, and no National League team did either, someone
among Texas, Minnesota, and Boston would have had to place a claim to ensure that
the Rays didn’t get a chance.
reportedly placed a claim, but it didn’t matter, because the White Sox had the first
shot among those teams. So Ramirez will hit
for the White Sox or Dodgers the rest of the way. Not the Rays.
If the objective, or
at least part of it, was to add Ramirez to a roster that includes a rejuvenated
Vladimir Guerrero and an imminently reappearing Nelson Cruz and a productive
David Murphy (.316/.404/.539 in August), that’s not happening.
But another plus, if
Los Angeles decides that it’s either out of the race or, at 4.5 games and four
teams back in the Wild Card chase, doing just fine with Scott Podsednik rather than
Ramirez, and decides to trade him to the White Sox, could surface. Form September 14 to September 26 there’s a
12-game stretch in which the White Sox, sporting a lineup that would include
Ramirez in place of Mark Kotsay or Andruw Jones, take on Minnesota (against whom
Ramirez is a career .331/.389/.605 hitter) for three at home (.338/.448/.601), then
after a set against Detroit go to Oakland for three on the road (.319/.417/.534),
and to the Angels for three on the road (.312/.396/.614).
Ramirez won’t face
Texas in 2010, but if he ends up in Chicago before Tuesday’s deadline he’ll
face the three teams the Rangers care most about right now. And while I can’t root for the White Sox,
ever, simply because of the unbearable Hawk Harrelson, I’m a Manny Ramirez fan,
and if he’s wearing the black and white I can at least imagine his opportunity to
do damage against the Twins on September 14-16 ending up as big for the Rangers
– in spite of any metrics that diminish the significant of home field in the
playoffs – as the fact that he won’t be suiting up for the Rays . . . who the
Rangers could face at home in Round One if they do catch the Twins again and
hold them off (or on the road if they don’t).
Quick update on Monday’s game-watching gathering at Sherlock’s
in Arlington: Chuck Morgan will join Chuck Greenberg and us for the event, and
Fox Sports Southwest is planning to record a couple video segments for “Rangers
Insider.” See you there.
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(c) Jamey Newberg