Hanley Ramirez in Los Angeles? Bring on the baggage!
Han-Ram is an L.A. Dodger!
Those words are sweet to the eyes and ears (just humor me and read them out loud!). When I awoke on Wednesday morning and read that the Dodgers reeled in Hanley Ramirez from the Miami Marlins, my first thought was, “Well, I’m sure we had to give up Zach Lee to do that!” Lo and behold, when I learned all we surrendered to the Marlins for Hanley were Nathan Eovaldi and some dude named Scott McGough, I was in Dodger Blue Heaven.
I have read all the baloney about the baggage that comes with Ramirez. I’ve seen astute baseball writers for Yahoo!, ESPN, Sports Illustrated and Fox Sports talk about the risk that the Dodgers are taking by welcoming Ramirez to Los Angeles.
Know what I say to them?
Riddle me this, Batman: Other than Rafael Furcal, name the last shortstop the Dodgers had who wielded anything that resembled a potent bat.
I’m waiting …
How about Pee Wee Reese or Maury Wills? You have to meander back about 50-plus years to find a Dodgers shortstop who did anything other than field the baseball. Reese is generally regarded as the greatest shortstop in Dodgers history.
Guess how many career homers Reese hit for the Dodgers? He hit 126 homers in 16 seasons for the Dodgers. Wills was a terror on the base paths for the Dodgers, but he only hit 20 career homers in 15 seasons in Los Angeles.
Ramirez has struggled this season, batting .246. However, even in a “down” year, Ramirez has still smacked 14 homers, which is tied for the team lead now for the Dodgers with Matt Kemp.
In just seven career seasons, Ramirez has stroked 148 homers and has driven in 482 runs (that’s an average of 25 homers and 83 RBIs a year!). I’m so happy the Dodgers landed Ramirez that I’m almost ready to find some San Francisco Giants fans and give them a hug!
If any manager can improve the fragile mindset of Ramirez, it’s Don Mattingly. Mattingly should win the Manager of the Year award right now for the amazing job he’s done keeping the Dodgers near first place with the mish-mosh of lineups he has filled out this season.
To get Ramirez, the Dodgers only had to depart with Eovaldi and McGough. Eovaldi might be a solid starting pitcher someday, but he’s not that now. Even if the stars align for Eovaldi, I think he’s going to be more Chad Billingsley than Clayton Kershaw.
I doubt that you’ll ever see Eovaldi toeing the mound on opening day for the Marlins. Well, come to think of it, after Miami’s 2012 fire sale, Eovaldi just might be the best starter that the Marlins have to offer for years to come!
I’m a die-hard Dodgers fan and have to admit I’ve never even heard of McGough. When I Googled McGough to see what we gave up for Ramirez, the search results said, “Did you mean unimpressive pitcher who’ll never make an impact in the major leagues?”
McGough, who will be 23 years old in October, has a career minor league record of 4-10 and has never pitched above the single-A level. McGough was drafted in the 46th round of the amateur draft in 2008 by the Pittsburgh Pirates, but didn’t sign. He was then drafted in the 5th round by the Dodgers in 2011.
The biggest negative in the Han-Ram trade for the Dodgers is the money the team is on the hook for, a result of the $31.5 million owed in 2013 and 2014. I’m OK with that, though. It will be enjoyable to watch the Dodgers field a team with someone other than Kemp or Andre Ethier who is capable of hitting the baseball over the fence.
This was a shrewd trade by the GM with the best toupee in baseball. Ned Colletti swooped in and nabbed Ramirez right out from under the Oakland A’s. I love the move, and I can’t wait to see Ramirez make Ned look brilliant.