Written by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)
Edited by: Matt Shock (@shockwave_music)
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When it comes to the Chicago Cubs, I usually let Matt Shock chime in on his North-siders, but as a fellow baseball fan, I had to sound off on their latest acquisition. If you haven't already read it in Shock's latest Cubs Column, the Chicago Cubs decided to hire none other than Manny Ramirez as a coach/part-time player for their Triple-A affiliate, the Iowa Cubs. Most of the time, I don't mind when an organization gives a former big league player a chance to coach, but pulling the trigger on the likes of Manny Ramirez is nothing more than a sideshow to a lost season for the Cubs.
If you looked at it strictly from a statistical point, Manny doesn’t seem like a bad fit. With a career batting average of .312, 555 homeruns, 1,831 RBI, 12 All-Star Game appearances and two World Series rings, Ramirez has the experience and hardware that would be a beneficial teaching tool to any young prospect. As good as it sounds, Manny does come with a hefty price, and it isn’t his contract demands.
Throughout the years of watching Manny Ramirez suit up notably for the Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers, Ramirez’s on and off the field shenanigans was always referred to as just “Manny being Manny”. Sure, we would always get a kick out of Manny messing around with the scoreboard folks at Fenway Park and shoot, they even made a SportsCenter commercial about him, but for a guy that has a past of taking plays off in the outfield, ignoring coaches, attitude issues and most importantly, multiple violations of MLB’s drug policy, this is definitely not the guy that I would want mentoring young up-and-comers.
From the moment this signing was announced, only one logical theory made sense. With the Cubs struggling to climb themselves out of the cellar, a public relations move had to be made just so that Cub’s fans had something else to talk about rather than their crap season. Theo Epstein claims that bringing Manny into the Cubs organization isn’t a PR move, but that is exactly what it is. Epstein called upon one of his old boys from Boston who he knew would get people talking and couldn’t turn down a paycheck. People are also claiming that Manny is a different person now and he has changed for the better. As much as I hope that statement is true and he will bring something special to the Iowa Cubs, I will have to see it to believe it from a guy that half-assed it through the prime of his career.
As you can tell, I don’t particularly care for the hiring of Manny Ramirez, but I wish the Cubs the best. I understand that baseball organizations need to change things up when the product is struggling to stay above water, but if the Chicago Cubs aren’t careful, the boat could sink even deeper if Manny continues to be the Manny of old.
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