By: Nick Shepkowski
"White Sox Get Their Manny", "Manny of the Hour", or "Is He Man(ny) Enough?". Get ready for corny headlines Monday morning in the Chicago newspapers because Manny Ramirez appears headed to the Chicago White Sox.
The Sox are expected pay his remaning salary for 2010 which is around 4 million dollars, but will not have to give up any prospects in the deal with the Dodgers.
The question now turns from "Will Manny come?" to "Is he worth the risk?". People will question his character and if he is okay to have in the clubhouse down the stretch. Even if he is the greatest clubhouse guy around for the next month, what exactly will he do that the Sox haven't already been doing?
Manny has hit only 8 home runs in 196 at bats this season, roughly once every 24.5 at bats. By comparison, his career average is a home run every 14.7 at bats. He is however hitting .311 and has an on-base percentage just over .400, you'd be a fool not to welcome those numbers to any lineup. You may see those home run numbers improve with regular playing time and the more homer-friendly park of US Cellular Field.
Yes this deal makes the White Sox better but by how much? During the struggles of August the Sox have more runs than any team in all of baseball with 140 in 26 games (5.38 per game). The problem is their ERA ranks 22nd of 30 this month at 4.33, only Cleveland and Kansas City rank worse in the American League.
The White Sox surging offense may become slightly better with Ramirez in the lineup, possibly beginning Monday night in Cleveland. It won't however matter a whole heckuva lot unless the starting pitching improves and not as much is asked from the depleated bullpen that is now missing Erick Threets, Matt Thornton, and JJ Putz.
Manny Ramirez will go down as one of my favorite baseball players of all-time, even after he tested positive for steroids in 2009. He won't however be the reason if the White Sox do end up catching the Twinkies.
Be sure to check out a small photo gallery of Manny Ramirez below!
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