While Dodger fans and Frank McCourt seem ecstatic about the acquisition of Manny Ramirez, there are trouble signs elsewhere. L.A. fans have never been very accepting of bad-attitude players, and ESPN's Peter Gammons railed tonight (text and video) that Ramirez might be one of the worst ever in terms of quitting on his team and refusing to play hard. Gammons called Ramirez an insult to baseball, and says the Red Sox had to trade their star to maintain their integrity: he was dogging it on the field, sitting out games and driving the manager crazy. "The way the past month had gone, there was no chance -- none, zilch, nada -- that Boston could make the playoffs with Ramirez on the team." He thinks Ramirez, though, will help the Dodgers. Meanwhile, ESPN writer Jayson Stark scores it this way:
Dodgers: No one knows what the Dodgers are going to get from their man Manny these next two months. Not Joe Torre. Not Scott Boras. Not even Manny himself. But it won't be all good. We know that. Not when you have a slightly whacked-out man on a shameless money mission. Not when the manager has to figure out how to play five "regular" outfielders on one roster. And not, certainly, when Manny puts a glove on his hand....
Red Sox: The eviction of Ramirez is a story with so many levels that it's impossible to sum them all up with a one-word label such as "winner" or "loser." We recognize that. There's also a value to subtracting a selfish, disruptive, divisive knucklehead like Manny from an otherwise-harmonious, purposeful clubhouse. We recognize that, too.
Ramirez, obviously, will have to play left field when he gets here. That means one of either Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp or Juan Pierre has to sit every game, and the Dodgers will still be stuck with no offense at short (and second on days when Jeff Kent can't play.)