Back when I made the con argument in the sign Manny Ramirez debate I pointed to a slump he had in 2008 that if it had happened when he became a Dodger would have changed our perception. Lost in 600 at bats are many ups and downs for hitters and pitchers, and contrary to popular belief even the best hitters have these ups and downs including our own Manny Ramirez.
As Manny struggles, many will now point to steroids as being the cause for our Mannyman showing signs of weakness. I'm not here to dispute those claims but the sample size is much much to small to start talking about such things, I'm just going to point out that as recently as 2008 Manny Ramirez was a mortal hitter. From May 1st to May 23rd of 2008, Manny had 89 plate appearances which produced an awful slash line of .195/.303/.312/.615 with only eight runs batted in.
Slumps happen, Manny is in one, the question isn't will Manny hit again, the question is are we going to get Mannywood when he does emerge from this slump, or a 37 year old left fielder who already gave his best last Sept and our expectations should be tempered knowing he's a 37 year old left fielder who would be bucking history if he was to continue to be the force we have seen in the recent past.
Then again HOF's have a way of bucking history, that is why they are unique, that is why Ted Williams leads the leaderboard when we look at offensive performances from left fielders at an advanced age who were not known steroid users Manny is now a known steroid user, not only recently, but as far back as 2003. Does this change the equation of expectations? Probably, but to what degree I can't even begin to guess so we will have to let the games play to find out what he can and can't do.