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A Non Rational Look at the Manny Ramirez Suspension

Many of you may think this is crap but here goes anyway.

The problem I have with the analysis that Brendan did  is the given that the wins we lose are strictly based on Manny's performance with Pierre as his replacement. The trickle down effect of losing a starting outfielder of Manny's ability could be larger then that. If Kemp/Ethier go down then Paul becomes a starting outfielder and the best outfield we'd seen in a generation could become Paul/Kemp/Pierre. We now have a very fine line we have to toe so that this does not become more problematic. We have had a great start with zero injuries to our starting position players and it is doubtful that will continue given the age of Blake and the injury history of Hudson/Furcal. Manny's production would have masked those injuries if they occur, Juan Pierre's production will only fuel the problem. We also have no idea how much the young players will handle the weight with Manny not there to bail them out. This team has no legitimate clean up hitter and will attempt to fill the hole with a singles hitting first baseman.

Of all the sabremetric analysis being done the one I pay attention to the least is how many wins one player is worth because a player is not an island but a component of the team and when you take that component out or add that component in the variables change to much to just base the assumptions on statistical productivity. It is a fun exercise but not one I pay much attention to.

Manny does need to apologize to his teammates and fans. One should be different then the other. I don't really care what he says to his teammates that is between him and them but I do care what he says to young fans. This is just like a 50 game injury but it  was self induced much like the Jeff Kent incident with his motor cycle.

I've only got one friend who has a child who has Manny as his hero, at 5 1/2 he loves watching the Dodgers specifically because of Manny.  I'm not sure how many of you have children who you have to explain to them that Manny won't be on TV or at the game for a while. Dodger fans who have kids are usually quite excited when their children become fans and a little disappointed when they don't.  Manny made that task easier the day he showed up. As adults many of you probably poo poo this as no big deal but maybe you should remember back to who your Dodger hero was when your were 5-8 years old and how you would have felt to find out he cheated and was suspended for 50 games.

Finally unlike many of you I do care about steroid use in the sport I love. Most of my love of the game is based on statistics and I hate the unknown variables that steroids or greenies or any other substance adds to the noise of the numbers. We can figure out park effects, home/road splits, and a host of other known quantities but the performance enhancing variables screw the pooch for me. I'm also not fond of some players using them and out performing those who choose not to. Given the large % of players who seemed to use PED's I think we can reasonably say that a certain % of them made the major leagues based on PED usage while some players who may have been borderline, remained borderline because they didn't want to take the health risk for family or long term reasons. Some have argued that TJ surgery and other medical procedures have the same effect as PED usage. That is true but those procedures are not illegal and they don't have the possible long term health consequences of the banned PED's. It is a tough choice a male 22 year old has to make between starting a family and trying to improve his game because the inferior player next to him is using PED's. In my mind it is a choice I don't want them to have to make so I'm quite in favor of  the drug testing. Now some chemical body builder is going to say that PED's are perfectly safe if used correctly. And they may be right just as a car is perfectly safe when used correctly or drinking in moderation is perfectly safe. Is the 15 year old with no money and no brains going to use them correctly? The Dominicans trying to get off the island? The ignorant or simply the stupid? Will agents take advantage of clients knowing that performance means money to them? These days  I'd rather tread on the side of caution. Back when I was 25 I'd say no to any law/rule that limits personal freedom because it was okay to "cull the herd" but that is an elitist view of a know it all 25 year old who doesn't value people or life.

I have no interest in tearing down Manny Ramirez but I also have no interest in defending him or getting off my ass and cheering him as 50,000 fans will do the day he comes back. 

What he does on the field to help the Dodgers win I  will cheer but not with the same joy and passion I did from Aug 1st - May 6th.