The hopes for Manny Ramirez to have a positive impact on the Oakland Athletics 2012 season quickly turned to dust just a couple of weeks after the designated hitter became eligible to play again after his 50-game suspension for violating baseball’s drug policy. On Friday, June 15, Ramirez asked for his release from the team and the A’s granted his request.
While Ramirez came with quite the checkered past, he had declared himself a changed man and was grateful for the opportunity to play in the major leagues. Making $20 million a year with the Los Angeles Dodgers, he said he was thankful to be making a half million with the A’s, and remarked that he would rather make the $500,000 with the “Lord in his heart,” than $20 million without him.
Apparently, he wasn’t grateful enough to stay in the minor leagues longer than two weeks. A’s manager Bob Melvin said, ”It looked like he was down there for a while and I think he wanted out. He wanted an opportunity, if we weren’t going to do something, to go somewhere else. It is what it is. Certainly we wish him the best.”
Manny felt that he demonstrated his strong skills during that short period with the Triple-A Sacramento team. He did hit .302 with 14 RBIs in his 17 games, however, Oakland was unable to give him any guarantee that they planned to use him in the major leagues in the immediate future.
The A’s have had a mostly disappointing season, sitting at five games below .500, and the departure of Ramirez is just one among many disheartening events in 2012. Rookie Yoenis Cespedes came out on fire at the start of the season, but has struggled with injuries and issues, and his hamstring took him out for the third consecutive game on Saturday. He’ll be out for the weekend and evaluated on Monday.
While many fans hoped this young team would surprise us and battle through to make it to the top, or at least capture one of the two wild card berths added to the postseason this year, the odds seem to be getting slimmer as the days and weeks quickly pass by. There is a little glimmer of satisfaction in that the A’s aren’t on the bottom of the American League West. That honor goes to the Seattle Mariners who are 3.5 games behind Oakland.
K.C. Dermody grew up in the Bay Area of California, following the Oakland Athletics since the days of Billy Ball, and attending hundreds of games over the past three decades. Follow her at www.facebook.com/KCDermodyWriter, Twitter @kcdermody, or www.kcdermodywriter.com.
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