By Daniel Torres / Staff Writer
By Daniel Torres / Staff Writer
Spring training has officially begun and controversy is already stirring. No surprise that it comes from Manny Ramirez and his insatiable hunger for drama.
Baseball hasn’t been on since November and no one has mentioned Ramirez in over three months, so he decided to stifle the silence.
Amid the troubles of the Dodgers’ front office of owner Frank McCourt being in the middle of a very expensive divorce, one in which will surely affect the fans, Ramirez decided to open his mouth, saying he most likely will not return at the end of this season.
“I know I won’t be here next year,” Ramirez said. When asked why not, Ramirez simply reiterated, “I don’t know, I just know I’m not going to be here.”
This past year and a half, Dodger fans have been stuck in a state of Manny euphoria.
I can still recall that warm summer day in 2008 when it was abruptly announced that Manny Ramirez was traded to Los Angeles by the Red Sox in a three team deal, a day in which Dodger fans boisterously celebrated throughout the more decrepit neighborhoods surrounding Dodger Stadium.
The first few months were very titillating with Ramirez batting .396, and slugging 17 homers in about 50 games in a Dodger uniform, leading them straight into the National League Championship Series where they would eventually lose to the Phillies.
The season that followed looked optimistic for the Dodgers being that Ramirez, this time around, would be with the team the entire season.
Disappointingly though, that wasn’t the case. This past season, Ramirez was suspended 50 games by the league for use of a banned substance.
Ramirez tested positive for a female fertility drug mainly used to increase the amount of estrogen the body produces; it is taken by some men to decrease an influx of hormones, usually caused by steroids or other performing enhancing drugs.
Lampooned by critics, Ramirez was seen as more of jest than a future hall of famer.
With his image tarnished, Ramirez continued to receive praise and adoration from the fans.
Tickets sold out for his first game back from his suspension, a game that wasn’t even a home game. Dodger fans inevitably flocked down to San Diego to catch a glimpse of their hero.
All the hype and excitement, that came out of this trade, out of “Mannywood,” out of the fatuous dreadlock wigs worn by children and the elderly alike in Los Angeles, turned out to be a bust.
Sure, the Dodgers made it to the championship series, where in a state of déjà vu, they were knocked out once again by the Phillies.
The reason he was a bust was that the team did it without Ramirez; they posted an impressive winning percentage in his absence and barely clinched the National League West despite his poor play.
An embarrassing season for Ramirez indeed, not only will he remember being tested positive for a drug so humiliating, but for having one of the worst seasons of his career.
He spent the past season in a state of inertia, while the rest of the team was playing actual Dodger baseball.
Dodger centerfielder Matt Kemp finally showed off his latent talent by winning his first Gold Glove award.
Dodger right fielder Andre Ethier electrified the crowd coming up clutch with numerous walk off hits and homeruns.
These are the players whom we should be applauding, players like Ethier, Kemp, and even Clayton Kershaw, the young 22-year-old pitcher with a very promising future.
They are the future of the Dodgers, the prominent players for the team in the coming years.
Ramirez, about to turn 38 years old in May, is way past his prime. He won’t put up the same numbers he did in Boston.
This is what the fans don’t understand; they just want another star in a city that already cloys its people with a myriad of celebrities and pro-active infomercials.
For Ramirez to say what he said is a slap in the face of the fans. The fans who welcomed him with arms wide open, despite the drama he brings to an organization.
He is the Terrell Owens of baseball, a facetious member on and off the field.
Ramirez’ farces have all but shown he is actually ready to be the magical Manny Ramirez we saw when he first arrived.
He now tries to feed his own ego, craving the media attention by saying he feels 15 years old when he looks and plays like 50.
His narcissism used to be amusing, now it’s just irritating.