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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.

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Comments:
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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