Manny , Manny, Manny …. Who’s Sorry Now ?
The critically acclaimed movie ” Moneyball” starring Brad Pitt , Phillip Seymour-Hoffman and Jonah Hill , celebrates the Oakland A’s and in particular GM Billy Beane’s ascent into baseball folklore as being an astute assessor baseball talent . But as of late the Athletics’ woes have been well chronicled in terms of their lack of regular and postseason success . To say that ” ineptitude” has been the face of the franchise in recent years would be an insult to the use of the word but such has been the mediocrity of the organization that it has myself wondering in particular, why any major league player would want to don an Oakland A’s uniform !
Slide show for your perusal .
Now having seen the AL West in terms of this past season with the domination of the division by the Texas Rangers as the divisional champions for the last two years as well as the AL pennant representative in the World Series in 2010 and 2011 . This has to grate on the nerves of the long suffering A’s fans seeing the rise in the dominance of the Texas Rangers and seeing financial acumen shown by GM Jon Daniels and the front office of the Texas Rangers . Money is of no object for the now resurgent ball-club with the vast financial resources at their disposal . A two decade $3 billion television deal that affords the organization leeway in acquiring talent at the drop of a hat , of which $100 million was made available to the Rangers this off-season . It would appear that the league has essentially become about “the have’s” and “have nots “ with the likes of the Texas Rangers near the top of the food chain , whereby they can now challenge the likes of the Boston Red Sox , Los Angeles Angels , New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies .
The Oakland A’s ballpark at times has been bare in terms of fan attendance for their home games and this was noticeably so this past season . Sparsely attended and with winning results coming at an inconsistent pace it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see the team barely being able to remain within posting close to a .500 record (74-88) for 2011 . Billy Beane for his part knows that this team needs to bolstered from an offensive standpoint if they are to viewed as a competitive threat within the division (AL West) and most certainly as a viable candidate for a wildcard berth .
If the rumors now swirling are to be believed then it would appear that Billy Beane is intent on acquiring ……. Manny Ramirez as a DH and play various parts of the out-field for the team. The now disgraced former big leaguer , fell from grace last season having retired abruptly, rather than face a second 50 game suspension for a violation of the league’s substance abuse program . Barely contributing for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011 Ramirez in for all of his off-field issues remains an enigma and a pariah within the game . There’s no doubt that Manny Ramirez when his head is focused on the game is a big time player who can hit for power and of which his run productivity cannot be denied .
I am not so sure that it would be prudent for Beane to sign the player even if it were to one year deal or otherwise ! That is unless team owner Lew Wolff feels it worthwhile as a lure to get fans’ interests piqued at the prospect of seeing the player in A’s uniform . Though acquiring the player might not be viewed as a great financial risk given their payroll , which is amongst the lowest within baseball . And for those who still feel that the premise of the “Moneyball” aspect can still prove to be pertinent in today’s game , ask yourself how that has been working out favor of the A’s overall financial viability and their success as of late ? Being financially frugal can only get you so far but it would appear that either Wolff is unwilling to increase payroll or he’s simply happy with his lot of seeing the baseball club repeatedly being viewed as an “also ran ” … amongst the teams within the league . The apathy amongst the A’s fans seems palatable within their fan-base but I guess it now goes with the territory , given the team’s recent lack of success !
With a relatively young core that makes up this roster it has to be said that if patience is the virtue upon which Billy Beane is hoping to build this team’s future upon while these players acclimatize themselves to the rigors of the game at present he may well be ill served to continue along this path. How much longer can he feel that this organization proceed under this premise ? And the mere fact that the front office and in particular Lew Wolff is waiting upon some sort of resolution to be forthcoming from the league hierarchy led by Bud Selig as to the A’s wish to relocate makes this organization’s situation all the more comical . The commissioner at present seems to be none too interested in the plight of the Oakland A’s as he looks forward to the upcoming season and the inauguration of the Miami Marlins’ new ballpark . Perhaps if Wolff and his partners fawned over Selig and the hierarchy , while brow-beating the city of Oakland then perhaps their wish to have an all new purpose built facility might well have been fast-tracked . Anyone who is aware as to the back door dealings with regard to the Marlins’ stadium issue must now know _____ that deal is now the subject of a federal investigation being conducted by the SEC (Securities & Exchange Commission) in conjunction with the US Justice Department . Chances are those involved subject to a subpoena will for now remain tight lipped rather than implicating themselves in any possible wrongdoing .
Oakland A’s manager Bob Melvin , while he and his coaching staff are expected tutor many of the young players on this team . with a view to bringing out the best in the talents of Jemile Weeks , Scott Sizemore , Cliff Pennington , Ryan Sweeney , Dallas Braden , Josh Reddick and Brandon Allen to name but a few on this current roster . It will be interesting to see how those players handle themselves this upcoming season in comparison to 2011 when their problems were quantified in so many areas , in terms of a lack of run productivity . However what truly plagued the team was their poor defense throughout much of the season which proved to be costly in seemingly allowing their opponents win a number of games that were well within the A’s grasp.
As Spring Training comes around , it will certainly be interesting to see the guise that the Oakland Athletics’ roster will take. As the team’s aspirations take shape for the organization , Bob Melvin and his staff will try their utmost to create the momentum needed before the regular season begins . Are the A’s capable of pulling off a major surprise and competing at a high level this season ? Well that remains to be seen but it is becoming increasingly clear that after years in the doldrums it has to be now or never , rather than the continued excuses proffered up by their fans , and what appears to be on the surface the inability of the front office , coaching staff and players to prove to show that this organization is capable of competing alongside that of their peers.
Picture gallery for your perusal .
The future of Manny Ramirez to my mind within the game of baseball is a major gamble for any team willing to take the player, be it on a whim or out of necessity ! As a player , Ramirez has shown that his ego needs to be massaged by his manager and at the moment of any real sign of adversity he is not always willing step up to the plate . Furthermore , with his already tarnished image and continued demeanor why would any team at this juncture be willing to take a chance on the player ? What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the possibility of the Oakland A’s acquiring Manny Ramirez ? Do you feel that his addition will be of benefit to the team or a hindrance ? Chime in on this , and any other topic you feel of relevance as it relates to the A’s , Spring Training and the Opening Day of the regular season in Major League Baseball (MLB) .
Alan aka tophatal …………. https://tophatal.wordpress.com
Picture and slide show details below .
(1) Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin (L) speaks, while Seattle Mariners manager Eric Wedge (R) looks on, at a press conference in Tokyo on January 16, 2012. Melvin and Wedge announced that the Athletics and Mariners will play for their opening Major League Baseball games at the Tokyo Dome stadium in March. AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO ….
(2) Seattle Mariners manager Eric Wedge, center, gestures with Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin, left, and Mariners special consultant Ken Griffey Jr. after a press conference in Tokyo, Monday, Jan. 16, 2012. The Mariners and Athletics will open next season in Japan with a two-game series at the Tokyo Dome on March 28 and 29. AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi ………
(4) Oakland Athletics’ owner Lewis Wolff , right, talks with vice president and general manager Billy Beane during the A’s spring training baseball workout in Phoenix, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2007. Beane, the architect behind Oakland’s four division titles since 2000, was rewarded with a seven-year contract extension Wednesday, June 13, 2007. AP Photo/Eric Risberg …….
(5) Rays’ GM Andrew Friedman (left) is seen here alongside team signings …. Johnny Damon (center) and Manny Ramirez prior to the start of the 2011 season . Also in picture is the team’s manager Joe Maddon . Ramirez’s tenure with the team was short-lived with the player abruptly retiring after it was announced that he had violated the league’s substance policy for a second time . AP Photo /Erica Cresswell …..
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Elita Lofblad (laying down) & a friend . What’s not to like ?
Raychel Frew covering up some quantitative assets . And why not might I ask ? .