Checking in from Phoenix, where the A’s just announced the signing of Manny Ramirez to a minor league contract.
I have a couple different thoughts on this: First of all, spring training just got very interesting. I expect that Ramirez will attract a throng of national media when he arrives at camp, which is expected to be by the end of this week. He might be arriving right around the same time that Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes checks into camp. Cespedes’ four-year, $36 million deal should be finalized soon. But Ramirez should bring a circus-like atmosphere that’s all his own, thanks to his nutty personality as well as his reported performance-enhancing drug use. For a team that has lacked star power in recent years, this is quite a publicity boost and raises the A’s national profile. And if it boosts ticket sales, that’s a great thing for a club that ranked last in the major leagues in home attendance last season.
However … what will Ramirez’s real impact be on the field? He must serve a 50-game suspension, meaning he’ll miss more than one-quarter of the season by the time he’s eligible May 30. By that time, where will the A’s be in the standings? Will they be so far back that his addition won’t mean much? Or what if the other likely DH candidates (think Seth Smith and Jonny Gomes) really tear it up over those first 50 games. Do they stick in the lineup and does Ramirez get unceremoniously released? It’s worth pondering, but for now, the A’s will bask in the national spotlight a bit. And how often have we said that for a topic non San Jose ballpark-related?
Let’s hear some reaction to the Ramirez signing. Are you counting the days until May 30? Or do you hope that the A’s are hitting so much that adding Ramirez seems unneeded?
Sound off …