Baseball Notebook

Daily Baseball Blog

Manny Ramirez: Not The Same Without Steroids

Manny Ramirez has not been the force he was last season for the Dodgers.

Manny Ramirez has not been the force he was last season for the Dodgers and is hitting only .250 with runners in scoring position since the All Star break and has hit only two homers since July 22.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are probably having second thoughts about signing Manny Ramirez to a $25 million contract last winter.

His presence on the roster has not had the effect it did in 2008. The Dodgers didn’t lose any ground while he was suspended 50 games for steroids violation but have after his return.

When he played his last game on May 6 before serving his 50 game suspension the Dodgers were six and a half games ahead of the Giants in the NL West.

Then he returned on July 3 from the suspension and the Dodgers were seven and a half games ahead of the Giants. However a month earlier in the midst of the suspension the Dodgers were nine and a half games ahead of the Giants.

Now today the Dodgers hold a slim three and a half game lead over the Rockies despite Manny having returned to the team 48 days ago.

Manny was hitting .372, had an OBP of .500 and a .654 slugging percentage at the end of April.

Now almost four months later he is hitting as of today .305. He has an OBP of .425 and is slugging .559.

Most players would be happy with these numbers but for a superstar who is one of the higher paid players in baseball these numbers are not close to the numbers of 2008 while with the Dodgers.

Last season in 187 at bats with the Dodgers he hit 17 homers and drove in 53 runs. This season in 236 at bats he has 13 homers and 45 at bats.

His batting average while with the Dodgers in 2008 was .396 while this season it is .305. His .743 slugging percentage with Dodgers in 2008 has dropped to .559 this season. His .489 OBP dropped to .425 this season.

Since the All Star break the numbers of Ramirez have fallen considerably. He was hitting .355 when the All Star game was played but is hitting .305 today. His OBP has tumbled from .487 to .425 and his slugging percentage of .669 is now .559.

When looking at his numbers since the All Star break it is even more apparent he is not the force he was last season or earlier this season.

He is hitting .252 since the break, has an OBP of .353 and is slugging .443 which are not Manny Ramirez type numbers.

He has batted only six less times than before the break yet has hit five less homers, driven in 13 less runs and has 30 less total bases.

In addition he has walked 16 less times and struck out 13 more times. His OPS was 1.156 before the break but has dipped to .797 after the break.

One of the most important stats is that he hit .371 with runners in scoring position before the All Star break but is hitting .250 after the break.

Since July 22 Manny has hit only two homers and driven in eight runs. On that date the Dodgers were nine games ahead in the NL West race but now are only three and a half games ahead. So the Dodgers lost five and a half games in the standings with Manny not hitting well.

Manny Ramirez has the stats right now to almost insure being inducted into the Hall of Fame with his 540 homers, 1770 RBI’s, .411 OBP, a .592 slugging percentage and a .314 lifetime batting average.

However there is the little matter of a failed drug test and that it is reported he also failed a drug test in 2003.

Hall of Fame voters will have to decide about ten years from now if Ramirez deserves to be inducted into the Hall of Fame despite his use of steroids.

By then the voters could have a different attitude about steroids users and there may even be some steroids users in the Hall of Fame by then.

Having been born in the 1940’s I am a baseball traditionalist that believes cheaters should not be allowed in the Hall of  Fame.

However my opinion doesn’t really matter since I am not a voter but hopefully enough voters believe like I do that the Hall of Famers who played the game the right way should not have to have their plaques on the wall next to those of the cheaters.

The season has a long way to go but right now Manny is not helping the Dodgers nearly as much as Andre Ethier since the All Star break.

Ethier is hitting .375 since the break, has a .483 OBP and is slugging .680. He has an OPS of 1.143 and after hitting .209 with runners in scoring postion before the break has hit .516.

Manny is making $25 million this season while Ethier is only making $3.1 million. It is clear however that Ethier is the better player since the All Star break.

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