Kicking Rocks: Just Say No to Manny Ramirez

When I heard the news that 41-year old Manny Ramirez signed a minor league deal with the Texas Rangers, I just laughed. Usually when I hear news of a player who is unable  to accept that the game of baseball is finished with him, I feel bad; sympathetic to the notion that, no matter what you do, you just can’t stop time. But in this case, there is no sympathy. How do you feel bad for a guy who, not only was a complete [insert your own expletive here] throughout his career, but was also caught cheating on more than one occasion and opted to leave the game rather than accept his punishment? You don’t. You move on and leave the past in the past.

To be honest, I really didn’t think much of the signing. Stupid for the Rangers? I thought so. But there’s probably very little money invested and for whatever is being spent, the team is sure to make it up at the gates at Triple-A Round Rock when the mindless sheep eager to gawk at the latest circus sideshow line up in droves. But what gets me is that there seems to be a belief that Ramirez will not only succeed in his comeback bid but that he’ll also make some sort of a positive impact. Come on, people. You’ve got to be kidding me.

I was stunned when I saw the first fantasy email that asked if it was a good move to drop someone in order to stash Manny for a second half run. Stunned. Even just a cursory glance at the numbers from Los Angeles, Tampa Bay and Triple-A Sacramento over the last few years would tell you just how ridiculous a notion that is and that’s even before we bring up the question of whether or not he still has to serve the 100-game suspension he bucked by walking away from the Rays in 2011. What in the world would possess you to think that dropping proven major league talent to stash a clown like Ramirez would be a positive move for your fantasy team? Because he raked in Taiwan? Seriously? Taiwanese baseball is barely on par with our Single-A leagues and that might even be a little generous.

You’re not being some savvy fantasy GM who is showing good foresight by making a move like this. Dropping anyone in favor of stashing Manny is ludicrous and all it does is reveal to your fellow owners that you are a buffoon when it comes to this game; someone who is destined to be an annual donator and proud resident of your league’s standings basement. Manny has absolutely no value on your roster today and he has no value on your roster tomorrow. He’s not waging some big comeback and he’s not going to be the Rangers’ DH in the second half. You will not see a boost in your offensive totals and you will not be lauded by your peers for making such a bold and successful move.

Manny Ramirez has no business playing professional baseball anymore and there is no place for him in the fantasy realm either. His placement on your roster comes at the expense of a legitimate major league player and no matter who that player is, the price is too costly. Do not give his return another thought. Walk away. Just say no. If you don’t, then the joke’s not only on you, it is you. Thanks for your donation.


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Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over 10 years on a variety of websites. In addition to his work here, you can also find him at his site,, Fantasy Alarm, RotoWire and Mock Draft Central. Follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or for more direct questions or comments, email him at

50 Responses to “Kicking Rocks: Just Say No to Manny Ramirez”

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  1. Hunter Pence's Thorax says:

    Drop Berkman for Manny?

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  2. Sheep says:

    Drop Chris Carter for Manny?

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  3. Donators says:

    Drop Mike Carp for Manny?

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  4. sdiaz says:

    I love this website and I have never once criticized a writer on this site. But this article is mean spirited garbage. I mean really this is a statistical based community that loves the game of baseball. From a statistical perspective and from a pure ability and talent stand point Manny Ramirez is why we follow baseball. But rather than even taking a moment to mention any of the accomplishments/stats that Manny compiled over his 15 year career, you decide to just name call and whine about steroids. No one here cares if he was an a-hole or if he took PEDS. The majority of professional athletes are arrogant, self entitled, cocky, whoring jerks who pile up DUI’s, spurned ex-spouses, and domestic disputes. But if someone wants to read sports related celebrity gossip, they would go to Bleacher Report.

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    • Freddy T says:

      Really? Why recognize a 15 year career with accolades when he’s been busted multiple times for cheating? He is so far from a reason as to why I watch baseball. I don’t always agree with what Bender says but this time he’s right on the money. Manny is a joke now and I hope someone in my league blows their waiver priority on him. Sorry fanboy, but you’re way off base.

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    • Brad says:

      We’re both a couple mindless sheep, I guess.

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    • KillahYeast says:

      I think you could reread the article, my man. Suggesting that a 41 year old who hasn’t had a good MLB season since 2010 will not have a positive fantasy impact seems to be a quite reasonable opinion. There is nothing personal, gossipy or mean spirited in this piece.

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      • sdiaz says:

        Umm where did I say that Ramirez would be worth picking up in Fantasy Baseball? This is plainly obvious, maybe we should also have an article about Jose Canseco or RIckey Henderson. This is a crap article because nowhere is there anyone with any understanding of baseball who thinks that Manny Ramirez will have any value for either the Rangers or their Fantasy team. This was just an excuse for the writer to get on a high horse and mock a guy who is just trying to keep on doing the one thing he was ever good at.

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      • rotographs says:

        this is rotographs, not fangraphs.

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    • Mike M. says:

      I just love it when guys use the royal “we” when they really mean “I”.

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  5. soamx says:

    Just to be contrarian here He was pretty good last time he was in the majors. (2010) he only had a couple days of ABs in 2011 and none in 2012.
    I’m not making room for him on my fantasy roster just yet, but it was a solid pick up for the rangers. Much like Bonds, he was forced out of baseball for reasons beyond his production. Your fantasy team doesn’t have to worry about the negative locker room or media circus impact.
    I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if he’s still an above average bat.

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    • Sean says:

      I did stash him in a deep dynasty format. As always you consider replacement value and risk/reward. Is Manny really that much less likely to contribute to my success than a fringe prospect in A-ball? Might not occur to Howard Bender, but this is the same guy who writes “Catcher Tier” articles and then forgets half the catchers. Manny’s going to the PCL. If he hits adequately there, he’ll get a chance to hit in Texas. His chance of success might not be 100% or even 50%, but it’s absolutely worth taking depending on the opportunity cost.

      In a 10/12 mixed, forget it.

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      • Howard Bender says:

        Now Sean…a bit of an exaggeration on your part, don’t you think? I’m sorry I missed whatever low-end catcher you’re stuck rostering in this super cool deep dynasty league of yours. I’m sure you do a much better job in your articles.

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      • Chris says:

        Howard, you seem like an asshole.

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      • Howard Bender says:

        Actually Chris, I’m a pretty nice guy and usually I hold my tongue when comments as insightful and accurate as Sean’s come my way. But sometimes the wave of internet tough guys who troll on this site becomes a bit tough to take and I feel compelled to throw a little back at them. And if I really wanted to be an asshole, he left the door open for so much more.

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      • Chris says:

        Nothing about Sean’s comment came off as “internet tough guy”…plus the whole article made you look like an ass. not just that comment.

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      • Howard Bender says:

        Well then I must be the asshole. Thanks for stopping by.

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      • Chris says:

        You’re welcome.

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      • Stuck in a slump says:

        Not sure why all the Bender hate, Manny is unlikely to provide any value, and unless it’s an auction league where you can get him for next to nothing and have an unlimited minor league roster, there’s just no reason to grab him yet. Quite frankly, even if he does get the call up, I’m not about to jump on him until after he’s produced for a week or more.

        He’s just not likely to be worth it if you have a player who is getting regular or semi-regular AB’s now.

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  6. Brian S says:

    Drop Julio Franco for Mannu?

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  7. Menthol says:

    So in summation, Howard, you’re saying you’re ambivalent about Manny?

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  8. jorgesca says:

    500,000 for Manny stupid? I don’t think so, even if it’s just for the AAA attendance, merchandise, media attention.

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  9. Rodney says:

    Drop J-Up or Heyward for Manny? They are underpeforming right now. Keeper league.

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    One thing worse than Manny’s comeback is the quality of Bender’s article.

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    • Howard Bender says:

      Good one! I often reminisce of my time in the third grade and for you to bring it back now in such witty fashion gives me the warm fuzzies. Thanks!

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      • snoop LION says:

        Wow. I hope you know how much of a douche you come across with responses like these. You wrote a shit article and are getting a negative response, it happens. Chill and learn for next time rather than being petty about it.

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  11. Jon L. says:

    I have always loved Manny Ramirez, even though he never played for my teams and did plenty damage against them. He was an incredible hitter for a very long time, and I very much doubt all of it was attributable to steroids. He was subjectively terrifying in the clutch, and for all his lapses in concentration, always seemed to love the game of baseball. I’m pretty sure the word “rake” was invented to describe Manny’s hitting. Maybe Mr. Bender is closer to accurately representing Manny’s present/future value than not, but I would have taken his career ability and production on my team any day of the week.

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    • ngrimson says:

      Manny’s biggest crime is realizing that baseball is a game, and that he played a game for a living. When he would make comments regarding this to the press they would foam at the mouth, unable to comprehend why someone with that much talent didn’t treat it like a religion.

      They interpreted it to mean he didn’t care, but really, his career stats, his desire to get back into the game at 41, and his even steroid use are all evidence to the contrary.

      I love baseball with all my heart but I can’t fault a guy for being self-aware.

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  12. KillahYeast says:

    Have I missed something? Did the Zombie apocalypse come about and leave humanity as just a bunch of pro-Manny tools? Howard’s suggestion A. shouldn’t have needed to be said (seriously, someone is thinking about adding Manny?) and B. in no way warranted the ridiculous comments. The only conclusion I can reach is that for some reason, everyone has become zombiefied and needs to eat crappy dreadlocks.

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  13. Chummy Z says:

    Wow, what the hell happened here? This is probably the worst -graphs article I’ve read, and it’s mostly due to tone (lack of stats also hurts it), but the rude responses to commenters is even worse. I know the commenters here are sometimes dickish, but there’s only one person being dickish here.

    All you had to do to make a reasonable argument was pull up a few numbers from his most recent play (2010 MLB, minors, Taiwan) talk about how chumpy Taiwan is relative to MLB, talk about replacements/league size, etc. The usual.

    But this comes off as angry fluff that you might hear from a drunk Harold Reynolds. Really unbecoming of any -graphs site, and I normally like Howard’s work.

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    • Todd says:

      I mostly agree with you, except that I find a lot of Howard’s articles to be of this quality. Probably my least favorite series on -graphs. I don’t begrudge him his opinions, but the way he presents them often seem to be in-your-face for no discernable reason.

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    • Drunk Harold Reynolds says:

      Well said!

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  14. Bill says:

    no stats, no research, and no effort. Just a rambling rant. I expect better from this site!

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  15. uhm.. says:

    Sean, I read and I see that you did include insightful reasons as to why Manny isn’t worth picking up. The reason why the keyboard warriors want to write hate comments here is because this article also sounds very whiny and hateful. We know he’s more than likely to be never come back to the majors. We won’t mind and we will laugh along with you if you make fun of him. But this website is not your personal diary. It is for the readers. Attacking words like, “Dropping anyone in favor of stashing Manny is ludicrous and all it does is reveal to your fellow owners that you are a buffoon when it comes to this game” to the very subscribers and the readers here will not get you anything but hateful comments. Thank you for the insights in this piece but please, don’t write to belittle your own readers. You’re just spitting on your own face and damaging your own reputation as a writer in the process.

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  16. Floomp says:

    Eaasy… Goodness me, everyone needs to get out a bit more, or maybe just chill out, go crack one off perhaps? The author had an angle, yeah it’s not a great statsy article (it is called ‘kicking rocks’, it’s entitled to be a rant) and yeah a lot of people may not agree (although strangely most of the commenters actually do agree with the sentiment that Manny’s not fantasy relevant). Yes, Howard does have a sarcastic tone but all the authors here get ridiculous personal attacks all the time. Goodness knows I would want to wallop a lot of the people who comment on the site, just hating and never actually providing any contribution. Bit of empathy, people! So what if he misses a first baseman off the May tiers update? People make mistakes, so why on earth should anyone get angry with it?! You’re not paying for access, if you have a problem with Howard (or any other author on the site for that matter) just don’t read his articles! My hope is that the haters are just sexually frustrated 13 year old boys who are just going around being douchebags and will grow out of it should they ever actually go out, possibly play some sport, or have a social life. If it’s grown ups, then I do despair because you should know that life’s too short to be a faceless Internet arsehole.

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    • IDrago says:

      People really seem to not get the idea of “Kicking Rocks.”
      “You’re just whining and ranting.” It’s *supposed* to be a rant.
      You might as well complain that NotGraphs is goofy and off-topic. I can’t stand up for Howard’s responses to commenters, but I do understand them given the general failure to appreciate the purpose of “Kicking Rocks.”

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      • Jonathan says:

        Yep, Kicking Rocks is Howard’s soapbox piece, and I thought readers would understand that by now. It’s his chance to get a few irritating things off his chest; so, I see no problem with the article. Readers are free to comment, and Howard is free to write. The two parties don’t have to like each other, but if Howard got you to click on the link to read the piece then he’s already won the battle.

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    • sdiaz says:

      Let me get this straight; Commenters who expressed a disappointment with the overly negative tone of the article and the general lack of statistical analysis need to calm down and keep some perspective.

      Oh and they are a bunch of idiot douchebag assholes who cant get laid and don’t have a social life.

      Do you not see anything ironic with position?

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  17. snoop LION says:

    I think most people were more annoyed at his stupid, unfunny, sarcastic comments more than the article itself. That’s what compelled me to respond.

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  18. How to Bendover? says:

    Jon, the only reason Howard got me to click on the link was because I Googled Manny Ramirez Fangraphs. It’s not his writing ability that got the click. It’s his association with Fangraphs. As an outsider, you know the author wrote a bad article when he has to defend himself in the comments.

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  19. Hello all, I came across this article and while I do no agree with the tone of the article I respect his opinions. I however am playing in a 19 team league with all of my sport writing buddy’s and some fans. I had Corey Hart on the roster so I dropped him and got Manny. As Corey wasn’t going to play all year I found it as a no risk move.

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  20. Jacob says:

    Dang. Someone hates Manny Ramirez.

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  21. Dan says:

    “Even just a cursory glance at the numbers from Los Angeles, Tampa Bay and Triple-A Sacramento over the last few years would tell you just how ridiculous a notion that is….”
    The only significant amount of games in any of these places is 2010 MLB LA+CWS combined .409 OBP and .460 SLG.

    You know who else hasn’t put up very good numbers in the last few years? Ibanez. Same age too. Manny is a better hitter than Ibanez no?

    “…..that’s even before we bring up the question of whether or not he still has to serve the 100-game suspension he bucked by walking away from the Rays in 2011”

    Pretty common knowledge that this is incorrect. Even if you didn’t know it offhand it’s pretty easy to look it up that it was brought down to 50 games by agreement with MLB and served in 2012 while he was with the As.

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