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Manny Ramirez comes up empty as White Sox's playoff hopes slip away

Sep 15, 2010, 10:15 AM EDT

Needing a sweep of the Twins to have any kind of realistic shot at the AL Central title the White Sox instead dropped Game 1 of a three-game series in Chicago last night as Manny Ramirez repeatedly came up empty in crucial at-bats.
In the first inning he came to the plate with two outs and runners on first and second in a 0-0 game. He struck out swinging.
In the fourth inning he came to the plate with one out and a runner on third base in a 0-0 game. He struck out swinging.
In the seventh inning he came to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded in a 4-3 game. He struck out swinging.
Ramirez did draw a walk and score a run in the sixth inning, but he whiffed in three at-bats where a hit of any kind could have dramatically changed the game. Chicago’s playoff chances were already slim when they acquired Ramirez, they’ve gone 7-5 in his 12 games, and he’s hitting .270 with a .400 on-base percentage, but remarkably has yet to produce an extra-base hit or drive in a run.
Obviously a dozen games is hardly enough to draw any sort of meaningful conclusions about what Ramirez has left, particularly since he posted a robust .915 OPS in 66 games with the Dodgers, but the White Sox took the small sample size gamble by assuming the $4 million remaining on his contract for just 30 games and his bat certainly looked slow last night as he repeatedly swung through fastballs.
And now that the White Sox are seven games behind the Twins what Ramirez does or doesn’t do for the final three weeks is almost meaningless. General manager Ken Williams took a $4 million gamble that Ramirez would be productive for 30 games, but after 12 games of little impact the remaining 18 games hardly matter. According to the simulations at Baseball Prospectus and Cool Standings, the Twins have a 99 percent chance of winning the AL Central.

  1. Kelly - Sep 15, 2010 at 10:31 AM

    The FSN North announcers (Dick and Bert) were talking about this last night – how the White Sox were so caught up in getting Manny (while a superb hitter, he was yet another right-handed power bat) that the Twins swept in and got Brian Fuentes even though the Sox had higher dibs on him and have a bullpen currently being rescued by Chris Sale. While Fuentes is obviously not the end all be all of a player, he certainly has looked good for the Twins lately.
    As a Twins fan, however, I do admit that each time Manny came up in those situations, I thought, “Uh oh.” But intimidation doesn’t help make contact with the ball or get wins.

  2. DaPacSux - Sep 15, 2010 at 10:44 AM

    The White Sox are SO DONE… I say the Twins keep winning and get home field advantage!

  3. minnesconsin_ad - Sep 15, 2010 at 11:03 AM

    i like the fuentes addition a great deal better than the trade for Matt Capps. With Jesse Crain and Fuentes the Twins have the potential for a very solid back of the bullpen in the post-season. And Liriano is somehow getting better…. I think the gun at the cell must be on crack, but even mlb.com tracker last night had his fastball at 97, slider at 90.

  4. Steeler Fan in Germantown - Sep 15, 2010 at 11:38 AM

    Like I said before…..I hope Manny is kissing Ozzie while he’s screwing him. I can’t think of 2 people who deserve each other more than those 2. Manny is over the hill. If he could hit numbers as big as his ego, he would do wonders. But, he’s all talk now. He’s officially a punk.
    Ozzie is a macho punk as well. It’s fun watching them both go down the tubes. When will the White Sox wise up and can both of them? Ozzie was a one time winner and he will never win again.
    The Cubs might lose every year, but they’re not a bunch of swelled head blowhards like the Sox.
    Pucker up Ozzie, here comes Manny !!!!
    I can’t wait until the dugout fights start between them.

  5. BC - Sep 15, 2010 at 11:39 AM

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. I think he’s like 1-for-1735 with 0 RBI since coming over.

  6. V... - Sep 15, 2010 at 12:02 PM

    struck out swinging….struck out swinging…struck out swinging….
    he whiffed in three at-bats where a hit of any kind could have dramatically changed the game.
    Hey… that’s just Manny being Manny…..

  7. missamyg - Sep 15, 2010 at 12:48 PM

    Hey mon, that is all in the past now, we don’t need to talk about it. Hey mon, I crack myself up.
    Why should he work hard, it’s only 4 million dollars.

  8. BIGBRUCE11047 - Sep 15, 2010 at 1:20 PM

    I am a Dodger fan since forever and I could see Manny’s baseball skills tumbling ever since he was caught with a performance-enhancing drug and served his 50 game suspension. After that you could see his defensive skills were gone and his bat had lost a couple of notches. When the White Sox took Manny, I was hoping that being a DH would get his offense back but at the age of 38, he might be done. He has had a remarkable career and should be voted into the Hall of Fame but careers are meant to come to an end. I think Manny’s is over.

  9. Kelly - Sep 15, 2010 at 1:21 PM

    Agree entirely with you. Jesse has been fantastic of late. And all I keep thinking is that it would be so much nicer this year to not have to SPRINT into the postseason. How will they do if they only have to play 162 games like everyone else?

  10. True Believer - Sep 15, 2010 at 2:27 PM

    Any team that picked up Manny sure deserves to lose and it couldn’t happen to a better bunch of guys. The White Sox and their fans are the lowest-class people you can find.

  11. GP - Sep 15, 2010 at 2:29 PM

    This is who I’ve had to use to replace Josh Hamilton in my fantasy league….DURING THE PLAYOFFS!
    Guess I won’t be winning that championship after all.

  12. Pete leary - Sep 15, 2010 at 3:34 PM

    Ozzie and Manny. In the hardware game, both are dumber than a bag of hammers! Life is so unfair. If this guy couldn’t swing a bat he would be under qualified to be a greeter at Wal Mart! He is a classic example of anyone remotely being connected to steroids being barred from entering the Hall of Fame. He is a poster child for the Hall of Shame!

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