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The Case For Signing Manny Ramirez

There are plenty of solid statistical reasons to want to bring back Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers:

1) Still Packs a Wallop: Sure, he's entering his age 37 season in 2009, but he's still one of the great hitters in baseball.  He has the 5th highest OPS+ in MLB over the last 3 years.

2) More Butts in the Seats: Before the Dodgers acquired Ramirez, the average attendance of the 56 home dates was 44,577.  With Manny on the club, 49,370 showed up per game to the Dodgers' final 25 home dates.  The average ticket price at Dodger Stadium was $29.66 in 2008, meaning the Dodgers enjoyed a per game increase in ticket revenue of $142,145.  That translates to roughly $11.5 million in extra revenue over a full season, and that's only ticket revenue.  Surely, Manny didn't account for all of that increase -- the club was in a pennant race, after all -- but it's safe to assume Manny will help offset some of his salary with the increased revenue he brings in.

There may be legitimate reasons to avoid signing Manny Ramirez (his indifference in the field, his injury history -- he missed 32 and 29 games in 2006 and 2007, respectively), but for me the reason for wanting Manny back is emotional.

On August 16, after Dodger Thoughts Day at Elysian Park I took in the Dodgers/Brewers game that night.   When Manny came to the plate in the 9th with the Dodgers trailing by a run, the stadium got louder than anytime I can remember since the Piazza days.  Since he was acquired, every Manny plate appearance was a must-see affair.  The stadium was electric, and wonderful to be a part of.

Sure, Manny may translate into X amount of extra victories for the Dodgers, but I'm not concerned with any of that.  I just want the feel what it's like to have Manny at the plate with the game on the line.