Wednesday, August 02, 2006
You'll never see, "Eat BLANK" on Family Feud, either the new or the old version. Many Red Sox fans have failed to appreciate the hitting genius of Manny Ramirez, author of 9 consecutive years of at least 30 homers. Or the invaluable protection that he provides to David Ortiz.
Well, a lot of Red Sox fans need to EAT CROW. No, Manny isn't a paragon of concentration, occasionally failing to run out a grounder, or pausing to admire his batting handiwork. But great players have great statistics, and that fits Ramirez to a tee.
Ramirez is tied for third in the AL in homers, and came into the season with an on base percentage of .409 and slugging percentage of .599. He far exceeds the expected Hall of Fame standards and Hall of Fame monitor for career production, found at www.baseball-reference.com. Among 'similarity scores' to Manny's career or by age, you find Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Duke Snider, and Joe DiMaggio. I never saw Snider or DiMaggio play, but that's lofty company.
Starting the season, Manny's in the Top 50 all-time of MVP votes (42), on base percentage (40), on base slugging percentage (10), home runs (33) , RBI (59) , intentional walks (48), fewest at bats per home run (5), and grand slams (2). He's one of the top hitters in the history of baseball.
For all those who tried to run the guy out of town, don't forget that crow is best served cold.