Claiming Manny Ramirez off waivers was a desperate move by White Sox GM Kenny Williams, and it was also a move worth making. The White Sox desperately needed a boost, something, anything that would put them back into the race with the Twins. Manny and his $4 million price tag were that boost, sadly, it just hasn’t worked out.
The seven game win streak following the claim of Manny, and the 7-3 road trip, somehow cost the White Sox 1.5 games in the standings. Still, the team was winning, so we dismissed Manny’s lack of power, assuming that it would come soon.
Here we are, 13 games into Manny’s White Sox career, and the White Sox season is all but over. They had one last chance, this week’s three game series against the Twins, but they lost the first game of the series, and the funeral began. Front and center for the blame of the White Sox “collapse”, specifically for the blame during this Twins series, is Manny. Most importantly, Manny’s lack of an extra base hit or even a single RBI during his brief time with the White Sox.
In game 1 against the Twins, Manny was the big pariah. He went 0-3 with a walk and three strikeouts. His WPA for that game was a team low -0.267. In his first at-bat, there were runners on first and second, two outs. Classic Manny situation, anybody who watched a Red Sox game during the 2000s knows Manny gets a hit there. Instead, strikeout number 1. Next at-bat, runner on third, one out. Same thing, strikeout. A bases loaded strikeout to end the seventh inning was the icing on the cake. Six men left on base in the biggest game of the season.
Because of that, Manny’s time here is officially a failure. He can hit .400 the rest of the way, hit as many home runs as he wants, and do all the other fun things he likes to do. It doesn’t matter, the White Sox are now too far out of the race for it to matter, and Manny’s inability to come up with the big hit is very much at fault.
In two weeks Manny and the White Sox will probably part ways. People will write about what a waste of time and money he was, and that he never should have come here. I still say that is wrong. The White Sox needed something, they got Manny, and it cost them nothing but money. His arrival did trigger a seven game winning streak, it did bring some excitement to the team, even if it didn’t work out.
Even though Manny has been useless for the White Sox, it was a gamble worth taking, even if that gamble ended up crapping out.
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