Will Manny Ramirez make a significant impact for the Rangers in 2013?


With few options, why not Manny?

Locker By Landry Locker

Signing Manny Ramirez is a low-risk, medium-reward move.

I'm sure my colleague Ted Emrich is going to overanalyze the negative impact Manny could have on the clubhouse. However, the Red Sox won two World Series rings while Manny was being Manny -- and haven't won a single one since he departed.

If Manny has nothing left in the tank, he will never step foot in the MLB clubhouse. However, if he shows he's capable of taking some cuts in the big leagues, he will be a bat off the bench for manager Ron Washington.

Is it really that outlandish to think that one of the best right-handed hitters in the history of baseball could make a late-season contribution to the Texas Rangers?

In 2010 and 2011, when the Rangers appeared in back-to-back World Series, Esteban German and Yorvit Torrealba came to the plate in crucial postseason situations. Why not a 41-year-old Ramirez?

It isn't as if the Rangers have a lot of options. Lance Berkman looks as if he's heading toward retirement. Jeff Baker was contributing early in the season, but an intense game of patty-cake is keeping him from contributing at the big league level. Why not Ramirez?

The Rangers' clubhouse is so strong that a personality like Manny's would only add to it. Could you imagine throwing Ramirez in the middle of the Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre mix? Rangers fans should be rooting for a Manny call-up.

When you look at the other options the Rangers have, along with the guys who have come to the plate in past Octobers, a Ramirez contribution doesn't seem that outlandish.

Will Manny Ramirez make a major contribution in 2013? No. Will he contribute in some way, shape or form? Yes.

Unrealistic to expect real production

By Ted Emrich

For the second time in seven months, the Rangers have signed an aging slugger covered with red flags. Lance Berkman was supposed to be the answer to the team's problems in the middle of the lineup, but sore knees have sapped his power and an inflamed hip put him on the disabled list.

If Manny Ramirez is supposed to be the answer to those problems, blame Jon Daniels. The Rangers' general manager wouldn't be on the hook for the meager deal he gave Ramirez, but rather for his inability to acquire a legitimate alternative before the July 31 trade deadline.

Maybe it's not fair to compare Berkman with Ramirez. Berkman is guaranteed $11 million this season. Ramirez isn't guaranteed anything beyond the postgame spread in Round Rock.

Just don't count on either to be the DH the Rangers desperately need, even if they end up splitting the role.

The Rangers won't tolerate any "Manny being Manny" nonsense, but perhaps you think Manny can be Sammy Sosa. Sosa returned to the game and the Rangers in what turned out to be his final season in 2007 and launched 21 home runs to lead the team.

Sosa was 38 and coming off a one-year hiatus. Ramirez is 41 and last played in the big leagues nearly three seasons ago.

He spent five games with the Rays in 2011 before retiring to avoid facing a 100-game suspension after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs in spring training. This after serving a 50-game suspension for the same offense two years earlier.

Ramirez is considered one of the best right-handed hitters in history -- his list of accolades is longer than the dreadlocks he just had to cut to comply with the Rangers' minor league rules. It's also longer than the syringe he used to stay relevant at the tail end of his career. And almost as long as his journey from Taiwan back to America this season.

Even if a reformed Ramirez makes his way to Arlington, he still has to prove he can hit major league pitching to earn opportunities to contribute. That would require a sip from Julio Franco's fountain of youth instead of the juice Ramirez used to take.

Not likely, no matter what Daniels' YouTube scouts think.


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