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Friday, September 12, 2008

Skipping The Light Hyperbolic: John Klima On Manny Ramirez

John Klima's over-the-top column on Manny Ramirez has the distinct advantage of being both true and misleading:
Manny Ramirez is the worst baseball player I have ever seen.

I am not kidding.

A ticket-selling novelty slogan is a great excuse for a player you do not want to settle your fate with his legs, arm, glove or mind.

In other words, this guy is a liability anytime he doesn't have the bat in his hands.

This is actually probably true, though I have no immediate way of proving it; Baseball Prospectus' Rate2 has him as a +110 left fielder, with the attendant issues of small sample size. I don't have John Dewan's plus/minus numbers from his Fielding Bible (something in me rebels against numbers that can't be found online), but I suspect a full season of Manny in left would be pretty atrocious. Ignoring his hyperbole, Klima's large point would seem to stand; the Dodgers need to keep in mind a Manny extension is likely to backfire if it goes for too long, and "too long" is exactly the sort of deal Scott Boras will ask for.


The Fielding Bible data is online through Bill James's website, for what it's worth (which requires a paid subscription). That data has him at -14 for this whole season. There isn't a BOS/LAD split available.
Though i know what he's trying to say, kind of a stupid comment especially seeing the Dogs lately, Manny being a liability any time he didn't have a bat in his hand.

John Unitas and Joe Montana weren't much use ..... unless they were taking a snap as QB, and throwing the ball. Nolan Ryan and Sandy Koufax weren't much use ..... unless on the mound. Micahel Jordan wasn't much use ... unless he had a basketball and Tiger's not much use without a golf club.

You get my drift.... Manny is an outfielder, his chief value is his bat ... and unlike Bonds, he DOES have a couple rings.
Klima's going for shock value here. Manny's bat is so good you play him in left (or in the AL, as a DH) and hope for the best.
ah, saracsm and i missed it! That's why i failed my AP English exam in high school too. Should have read the article, but being a Dodger one and all....

However the fact he called Manny the worst baseball player he'd ever seen should have tipped me off!

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