Manny Ramirez, the Dodgers and the end of their 2010 season
So it ends, without fanfare, without a big finish, without even a player in return.
It ends with a white flag unfurled on their season, the Dodgers simply deciding to waive Manny Ramirez and let him go to the White Sox.
Goodbye Manny, goodbye 2010 playoff drive.
He gave the Dodgers an incredible two months for free, and precious little for two years and $45 million.
It will be another part of Manny’s muddled legacy. There will be those who remain enraptured by the two amazing months in 2008 when he electrified Dodger Stadium like no player before him. And those left bitter by his being suspended for using female fertility drugs last season and never consistently getting it together in his oddly silent, injury-riddled 2010.
The White Sox, no doubt, are hoping he can duplicate the impact he had on the Dodgers in 2008, or at least resemble it.
Maybe he can, though it would mean a serious upgrade from the player the Dodgers have observed the last two months.
Certainly, when healthy, he remains a very effective hitter. And even if somewhat Manny-lite, he was still the most feared hitter in the Dodgers’ lineup -- when he actually was in the lineup.
Waiving him to the White Sox, as the Dodgers are scheduled to do Monday, is a clear sign they have given up on their 2010 season. They will, of course, deny it. But then, they’ve been less than honest with us the last four days.
If they truly thought they could pull off some amazing comeback -- and Sunday’s loss left them in fifth place for the National League wild-card berth, 6½ games back of the Phillies -- they don’t waive the most dangerous hitter in the lineup.
That is a done season, so they might as well explore unloading other short-term veterans, although with the intent of actually getting something in return.
What they got by waiving Manny was the savings of approximately $4 million he was still owed this season.
Gee, and on the day Frank McCourt and his uber-expensive lawyers are scheduled to go to court against Jamie McCourt to determine ownership of the Dodgers.
Cynics aren’t born, they are created by the Dodgers.
Our last image of Manny will be an almost perfectly strange one. Pinch-hitting Sunday in the sixth, arguing the first pitch thrown to him, a called strike, and being ejected quicker than Jamie can say, "I want another mansion!"
Manny took off his helmet, uncharacteristically argued more, turned with his patented dreadlocks swirling and walked off the field as a Dodger for the last time.
At least Joe Torre won’t have to invent all these bogus reasons for not playing Manny. Clearly, he sat him the past four games so as to not cause another injury and jeopardize waiving him to the White Sox.
Torre understands the mechanics involved in the waiver wire, and apparently who signs his paycheck.
Manny is gone. Torre likely will be soon too. Frank just saved $4 million. And the season is officially dead.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Manny Ramirez is ejected by home plate umpire Gary Cederstrom in the sixth inning of Sunday's game in Colorado. Credit: Matt McClain / Associated Press