MLB

Manny Ramirez and Ozzie Guillen: Great Soap Opera

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Manny Ramirez will the going to the South Side of Chicago as the White Sox have completed their waiver claim. Chicago will pick up the remaining 2010 salary left on Ramirez' contract of $3,825,136.61.

Ramirez pinch hit in yesterday's game against the Rockies and was ejected by home plate umpire Gary Cederstrom after one pitch on an outside strike call. That wasn't exactly going out on top a la Ted Williams blasting his farewell homer for the Red Sox, but then again, this is Manny, and there are many who think his premature exit yesterday was akin to giving the finger to Dodgers management.

Almost everyone has written something trying to sum up Manny's time in LA, but I think that Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports put it best.

"Manny never has done breakups particularly well, from airing every last stinky jockstrap on his way out of Cleveland to forcing a trade from Boston in 2008, to his latest, and perhaps greatest, act of defiance. Getting thrown out of his final game in a Los Angeles Dodgers uniform Sunday after one pitch of a pinch-hitting appearance was Manny's one-fingered farewell to the team that embraced him when he was a leper everywhere else, to the city that deified him when he was outed as a steroid user, to everyone who engaged in the symbiotic ugliness. On Manny goes, dumped by the Dodgers and picked up by the Chicago White Sox, who are merely the latest Father Flanagan convinced they can tame him."

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Manny gave the Dodgers an incredible two months for free in the stretch drive of 2008 when he got there, but once they signed him to a two year $45 million contract, the gift clearly stopped giving.

Most of the press is into Manny bashing these days, it seems the popular way to go. Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News had a typical comment that seems to represent be how Manny is being perceived at this point.

"Isn't it interesting, by the way, that the guy who got suspended for 50 games because of drugs is starting to break down this way. It must be another one of those crazy coincidences you get in sports sometimes. And Manny isn't the only one, is he?"

All I know is this; Manny Ramirez is in a contract year and likely has one last desperate chance at another decent payday coming to him. Any chance of obtaining that contract rests on his ability to carry the White Sox on his shoulders for the last month of the 2010 season, propelling them into the AL Playoffs.

I'm not saying that Manny will be able to duplicate what he did for the Dodgers in 2008, or perform like he did in his prime for the Red Sox, but maybe, just maybe, Manny can be Manny one more time and put on a typical show. I'll say this, with Manny Ramirez and Ozzie Guillen in the same uniform, ‘circus is coming to Cleveland' tonight, the city where it all started for Manny 18 years ago, as the White Sox play the Indians this evening and it should be one hell of a show. If that weren't fun enough, the White Sox travel to Boston for a three game set this coming weekend. Oh, Babay!

With 32 games left to play, the White Sox are currently 4 ½ games behind the Twins for the AL Central crown, they are 10 games back for the Wild Card spot so chasing down the Twins will be their sole focus. The White Sox have three games left against the Twins with a three game set at home on September 14th, 15th and 16th.

We are going to miss Manny Ramirez once he's gone, so enjoy the circus while you can. - Brian James

Brian is an independent sports journalist covering major professional sports for over 25 years.

 

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