Manny Ramirez made his Los Angeles Dodgers debut last night, and the normally quiet Dodger fans were loud for a change. Every fan from the front row to the All-U-Can-Eat Dodger Dog section, was chanting “Man-ny Man-ny” every time he was up to bat. Could Manny change the dynamic of being a regular, non-caring Dodger fan?
If I have learned something about Manny Ramirez during his career is that he has a way of making fans actually care about the team he is on. If you look back to his days in Cleveland, the team was a lowly basement dweller that was relying on Albert Belle for cheers. Manny changed the dynamic of the team and carried them into the playoffs year after year. His arrival in Boston was roughly the same, the Red Sox had a decent team, but could never win a championship, Manny helped them win two. The Dodgers could easily win the NL West, since no other team seems to want it. The Diamondbacks looked like another trip to the playoffs was a lock, but then June and July came and Justin Upton decided that he couldn’t hit the baseball. The Dodgers has a really good shot at winning the West and even a better chance if Brad Penny starts pitching up to his talent and if they can pull off a waiver trade to pick up Greg Maddux.
The acquisition of Manny made a lot of things happen. Andruw Jones is now expendable and possibly Juan Pierre could see his way out of L.A. during the waiver period. Manny might have the defensive abilities of a bored little leaguer, but his offensive abilities cannot be over-shadowed by anyone in the game.