Signing Manny Involves Zero Risk, No Money and Minimal Potential Headaches

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We’ll soon get a gauge on Manny Ramirez’s desperation to get back into baseball if he signs with the “very interested” Oakland Athletics.

Given their current circumstances as something resembling an expansion team in an impossible division, the A’s-Manny marriage would be one of mutual risk/mutual advantage.

He would be joining Jonny Gomes and Bartolo Colon in what is really the prototypical “island of misfit toys” that was supposed to be the basis of Moneyball (even though it wasn’t).

You have to figure that Manny will sell a few tickets for a team that didn’t draw well when they were good and certainly won’t draw well now that they’ve started another rebuilding project. Oakland fans would be better off going to see Moneyball and reminiscing about an interpretation (as twisted as it is) of the Billy Beane glory days. If Manny behaves and hits, the A’s will be able to trade him to a contender at mid-season and get a prospect or two for him.

Everyone wins.

Well, except the A’s on the field.

But that’s another matter.

There’s no reason not to sign Manny. He’s not demanding a lot of money and just wants a chance; he’s always been able to walk and once he gets his swing down, he’ll hit a few homers; if he does act up, the team that signs him can simply release him.

So why not?

The issues with Manny are non-existent because of these factors.

Of course any team that signs him will have to deal with the suspension for PED use that he, technically, still hasn’t served.

To get a window into how short-sighted Manny can be, if he even harbored the thought of continuing to play, why did he immediately retire when he was informed of the failed test and imminent suspension? He should’ve served the suspension even if he had no intention of playing ever again just in case he did want to play at some point.

Now he’s still under the jurisdiction of MLB’s punitive rules once he tries to get back into the game.

One would assume that since he didn’t play after the suspension, something can be worked out. It would be pretty silly to be so adherent to the rule that MLB says he can’t play until sitting out another 50 games—he sat out almost all of 2011; what’s the difference?

Manny doesn’t need the money and he doesn’t need the aggravation of being the butt of jokes for the once charming assignation of Manny Being Manny. Once it was seen as a term of endearment for everyone who didn’t have to deal with him on a day-to-day basis and now it’s a punchline.

Any team that signs him will have a player who, even if he doesn’t have much left, probably has more in the tank than most players ever had to begin. The opposing pitchers will, at the very least, have to be cautious with him until his remaining skills are evident.

Contending teams should look seriously into signing Manny Ramirez. There’s nothing to lose.

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