Hey, here’s an idea: Manny to Braves! (Kidding. Sort of)

I'm just not sure how Manny Ramirez' dreds (or the rest of him) would play in the Braves' clubhouse.

I'm just not sure how Manny Ramirez' dreds (or the rest of him) would play in the Braves' clubhouse.

Before you start launching into a verbal assault in this direction  for a completely moronic suggestion, let me make something clear: I am NOT recommending the Braves sign Manny Ramirez. (I write that still knowing that the first “You’re an idiot” comment will be posted in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .)

Again: Not recommending Manny World here. He comes with a ton of baggage. Clubhouse chemistry has been central to the Braves’ success this season. Ramirez is not about chemistry, unless you count performance-enhancing drugs (thank you, try the veal).

But ESPN’s Buster Olney, the best national baseball writer in the business, has a really interesting blog posted on the expectation that Ramirez will be put on waivers by the Los Angeles Dodgers soon. The Dodgers close out a four-game series against the Braves tonight. Ramirez is on the disabled list with a calf injury but he appears close to returning.

Olney’s blog requires “ESPN Insider” access, but here’s the meat of it:

If [Ramirez] hits the waiver wire sometime in the next two weeks, as expected, he will be the source of a whole lot of head-scratching among baseball executives, because despite all those things that Ramirez isn’t — emotionally invested or an ideal teammate, for example — he continues to be a really good hitter.

Ramirez has played in 61 games this season, and in his 186 at-bats, he’s hitting .317, with a .409 on-base percentage and a .516 slugging percentage. He’s got a .457 on-base percentage with runners in scoring position this year and a .976 OPS. Manny could sleep in the dugout for the next 30 days, wipe the sleepies out of his eyes and walk up to home plate — and opposing pitchers and managers would be scared of what he could do in the clutch.

So as a Braves’ fan, are you at least intrigued?

From an offensive standpoint, there’s no question Ramirez more than makes up for the loss of Chipper Jones and any other deficiencies this lineup may have (notwithstanding this comes a day after the Braves pounded the Dodgers for 13 runs and 16 hits). Since Ramirez would have to play left field in Atlanta, that would create a logjam of outfielders (although Eric Hinkse also is in the first base rotation).

But even with all of the problems associated with Ramirez, I thought it was worth throwing it out there for debate. Seldom does a .317 hitter with a .516 slugging percentage, 554 career home runs and two World Series rings hit the waiver wire.

Final note: Ramirez makes a ton: $18.695 million. But any team claiming him is responsible for only the remainder of this year’s salary (about $5 million). He’s a free agent after the season.

OK, the gates are open . . .

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC and Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

452 comments Add your comment

Tim Tebow's Tears

August 16th, 2010
11:16 am

Tech Rules

August 16th, 2010
11:19 am

“But any team claiming him is responsible for only the remainder of this year’s salary (about $5 million).”

That’s still an awful lot of money for a head case.

Hankie Aron

August 16th, 2010
11:19 am

I just don’t know about that one Schultzie

Deanna

August 16th, 2010
11:22 am

Ramirez is a cancer. The Braves don’t need a guy on the team who goes around punching old men. I don’t care if he hits .600.

The Natural

August 16th, 2010
11:22 am

I would love this, and if insurance is picking up the rest of the year’s obligation to Chipper, it’s almost expense neutral. The only thing’s you gotta wonder about are, what do we have to give up, and does this mean that Matt Diaz might actually play CF against lefties? Gulp…

old guy

August 16th, 2010
11:22 am

Jeff Schultz

August 16th, 2010
11:25 am

Tech Rules — Yes, point taken. Although I’m guessing any team signing Manny will make up that $5 million in souvenir dreadlocks and Manny jerseys (and ticket sales).

Jim Pierce

August 16th, 2010
11:25 am

An emphatic “No”. :)

Jeff Schultz

August 16th, 2010
11:27 am

The Natural — If it’s a waiver pickup, a team doesn’t have to give up anything (unless Dodgers pull him back with hopes/expectations of making a trade).

Nice Guy

August 16th, 2010
11:27 am

No way Jeffery. We couldn’t even stomach Yunel Escobar! Manny’s attitude and “baggage” would put Yunel’s to shame. Plus, I can’t imagine Manny being best buds with the likes of McCann, Hudson, Heyward or any of the other class-acts on the Braves roster.

Ashley

August 16th, 2010
11:28 am

The Braves have done well NOT having any head cases in the dugout. We don’t need to start now.

sam

August 16th, 2010
11:28 am

yea, bring manny here…that is if you want your team destroyed from the inside out….

louisville slugger

August 16th, 2010
11:29 am

I love the idea-especially if, as the other poster stated, it’s revenue neutral because of Chipper’s injury. I seriously doubt we would sign him past this year, but Manny could be good for sume huge hits down the stretch.

WayxDog

August 16th, 2010
11:29 am

I would rather have Greg Norton.

The Natural

August 16th, 2010
11:33 am

What’s so bad about backing into parking spaces?

Also, Schultzy, any chance we could have McClouth Euthanized prior to next year’s season? I think he’s slated to make $6M.

Gene

August 16th, 2010
11:33 am

The simple solution is always the best: Call up Freeman!

Go Dawgs

August 16th, 2010
11:34 am

JRW7

August 16th, 2010
11:34 am

OptimisticInTexas

August 16th, 2010
11:35 am

I always thought Manny would provide a good bat in a Braves lineup. So, if Wren and the Braves are really going for it this year, I’d say try to snatch him. In the end, it’s about improving the club and intimidating the opposing pitchers in the playoffs — if they make it that far. And you are right, he would add to ticket sales, etc…

wright_714

August 16th, 2010
11:35 am

Something needs to plug that hole folks…… Beggars can’t be choosers and the Braves need something to happen from that 3-hole now. Maybe Manny isn’t the answer, but perhaps picking up Figgins to follow Prado in the order and sliding…..Heyward down to the three slot. I know that is a lot to ask of a 21-year-old rookie, but the kid can rake.

Steve From Dalton

August 16th, 2010
11:37 am

There have been several guys that have had bad clubhouse reps that have fit in under Bobby Cox.

Deanna is my FB freind

August 16th, 2010
11:37 am

Dude..if it ain’t broke(still in 1st place) ..Yet..don’t bring him in to the mix..Hey D..I found ya..again.

The Natural

August 16th, 2010
11:37 am

I would most definitely show up to see Man-Ram PED’s, dreads, headphones and all. Say what you will about him and how he is in the clubhouse, but the guy has always been able to play. Outside of Barry Bonds, I don’t think there’s a hitter in the last two decades I would least like to face.

Captain Midnight

August 16th, 2010
11:39 am

You have deep seeded mental problems to even entertain such thoughts.

Deanna is my FB freind

August 16th, 2010
11:40 am

Dude..if it ain’t broke(still in 1st place)…yet..don’t bring him into the mix..Hey D..found ya..again.

Patrick

August 16th, 2010
11:40 am

No one’s said it yet.

You’re an idiot.

Supes

August 16th, 2010
11:40 am

Absolutely NO, He looks finished this season, actually when he did play he looked like he didn’t want to be there anymore, just cashing in paychecks. I don’t want a former superstar turned into paycheck collector on this bunch of gritty players the Braves have right now.

Mike Lum fan

August 16th, 2010
11:43 am

No and Hel* no!

schlame 1

August 16th, 2010
11:43 am

thankyou mister but no thankyou

GT Alum

August 16th, 2010
11:45 am

I’ve gotta agree with Nice Guy. There were a lot of Yunel detractors even in previous years when he was hitting well, and the general sentiment in the clubhouse when he was traded seemed to be good riddance. I just can’t see a team that traded Yunel because he was too much of an unprofessional head case picking up Manny, no matter how much he would add to this lineup.

Billy

August 16th, 2010
11:45 am

We don’t need Manny here, and it has nothing to do with his attitude. Quite simply, I think he’s washed up, and he stays hurt all the time now!

Mike

August 16th, 2010
11:47 am

we need someone to invoke fear in a pitcher. We don’t have that now. Ryan Howard and Chase utley gives everyone goose bumps when he comes to the plate. Jason Heyward only “kinda” does that at this point. We need that in the line up … and truth be told, Manny could be that guy. I say go for it. If anyone can handle manny, it’s Bobby. Bobby dealt with Deion Sanders … he can deal with Manny.

Benjamin

August 16th, 2010
11:47 am

You’re an idiot. [Just kidding.]

Manny’s bat would be more than sufficient in this lineup, but I’m not sure I want his comedy of errors in the outfield or in the clubhouse. No question he could step right in and be an explosive force in the 3 spot of our lineup, though…

Lee Smith

August 16th, 2010
11:47 am

ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN

PMC

August 16th, 2010
11:48 am

No, He’s a DH not a fielder. It would be fun and entertaining but he’s not worth it at this point in his career. The time for this move would have been 5 years ago.

The Braves could use another star… but I don’t see Manny helping more than he hurts in the lineup, unless he’s just pinch hitting.

matt

August 16th, 2010
11:49 am

Losers back into spaces- Andruw Jones??? You are comparing Andruw Jones to Mike Vick??? Jones hit for 10 years in Atl. and won so many consecutive gold gloves I lost count.

PMC

August 16th, 2010
11:50 am

I’ll say this I’m at least intrigued.

Joey

August 16th, 2010
11:50 am

Jeff, since Chipper is out for the year, doesn’t insurance kick in, a la Mike Hampton? If so, don’t the Braves have a bunch of money freed up for a rent-a-star?

How much of a distraction could Manny be in 2 months? Remember what he did for LA a couple of years ago?

I say, hell yeah!

mike

August 16th, 2010
11:52 am

I wouldn’t rule it out. If the braves are serious about making and going deep into the playoffs then bringing in Manny is worth exploring.

Ramblin Wrecker

August 16th, 2010
11:52 am

If the Braves could figure out a way to make it work financially, then why not do it? Do you guys really think that a month an a half of Manny would be a problem in THIS CLUBHOUSE? I think that notion is stupid, considering Bobby Cox is still the manager, Chipper Jones will still be in the dugout as the team leader and the Braves will still have Hudson/Jurrjens/Hanson/Lowe/Minor as their starting pitching. Just a few extra runs will make this team unbeatable.

I would be licking my chops at the thought of a lineup like this:
2B Infante
RF Heyward
3B Prado
LF Manny
C McCann
1B Glaus/Hinske
SS Gonzo
CF Ankiel

That lineup would score some serious runs.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

August 16th, 2010
11:53 am

If given the chance the Braves have to claim him. This lineup will scare no one in the post season. Chipper Jones was the prescence the lineup had in the postseason, now he is gone. Come playoff time the Braves will need that big bat and wether you like him or not, Ramirez is clutch.

If the Braves faceoff against the Cardinals, Padres or Phillies in a short series in Round 1 they will regret not having a big bat in the 3 hole with savvy and exprience of a Manny Ramirez. Heyward in 5 years is the answer but as it sits now, that is to much pressure on him right now.

Pros/Cons

August 16th, 2010
11:53 am

Pro’s:
heck of a hitter; power, average and great at driving in runs
(have you watched our Braves lately – Sunday’s game excepted?)
Serviceable left fielder (not the best – but Hinske and Omar aren’t real smooth out there either)
Makes Omar easily available to fill infield slot – Infante, Prado, Heyward, Manny, McCann — that’s a top 5 batting order you can win with.

Con’s:
$5 Million — if revenue neutral as other have suggested this isn’t a huge issue
MAYBE — an issue for chemistry in the dugout…. Maybe. For several years he was a great part of the Red Sox chemistry… so maybe he wouldn’t be a problem. 50/50

If you ask me it is DEFINITELY a play the Braves should make — no commitments beyond the end of the year, makes 1 – 5 hitters a great lineup where pitchers have to come in the zone, just as good defensively as who we have put out there….. If we don’t at least explore the possibility it’s a shame.

Jordan

August 16th, 2010
11:53 am

Check out my weekly Braves column at http://www.tnspsportsnet.com/ for more on anything surrounding the Braves

1st time post

August 16th, 2010
11:53 am

We’re having problems with errors on the left side. Do we want to back them up with more errors?

richtfan

August 16th, 2010
11:54 am

please no thugs with dreds

ArkyTech

August 16th, 2010
11:54 am

Lee Smith, Adam Dunn can’t be traded. He’s already been claimed off waivers and pulled back.

meh

August 16th, 2010
11:55 am

i’d rather sign Jermaine Dye for the rest of the year. He’d be a better fit in the locker room and coudl probably hit pretty well too.

not so sure

August 16th, 2010
11:55 am

Please, no. We need the people we have invested in to deliver. If this team was running on all cylinders, nothing would stop them.

Lee Smith

August 16th, 2010
11:55 am

They can always put him back on….Just wishful thinking. The Nationals are going to need to make salary room for Bryce Harper.

Matt

August 16th, 2010
11:57 am

Jeff, please put the illegal substances away as they are clearly interfering with your critical thinking skills!!

This goes under the category of “No, just NO”! Manny is a clubhouse cancer.