Thursday, May 7, 2009

Manny Ramirez suspended 50 games

This just in... A big name power hitter has been suspended for violating the MLB Drug policy, and there are major implications possibly effecting the Giants season...and it's not Barry Bonds...Who you ask?

Manny Ramirez is who.

(Damn, that felt good to say.)

The Dodgers just lost there savior today. Manny-wood is on hold. Dodgers fans are trembling in their flip flops...

(That all feels even better.)

I have to admit, when I first heard the news, I got so excited I think I peed a little. After a few hours of toasting to the Dodgers Misery, I came down to earth. What does this really mean to the Giants? I mean, anything to make the Dodgers suffer makes me happy, yet we're talking a winnable division here and to make matters worse, the Dodgers are leading the way. So what might this actually effect?

For starters, I am so glad the Giants didn't sign this guy. Back when the Jan 1st news first broke of the Giants reported interest in Manny, I was leaning toward trying to bring him in at many unreasonable conditions... Am I glad they didn't find a way to sign him cheaply, then again word was they were looking for a clause to protect them in this exact case so Manny to the Giants probably never had any real legs.

As for the next 50 games and beyond, the Giants have an obvious opportunity to make significant progress on the Dodgers. I saw on ESPN earlier that the Dodgers were expected to win three less games over the next 50... from the current standings, that brings the Giants to3 games back. It could be much worse than that though...Could being the premium word.

The Dodgers aren't going to keepup their undefeated home record, especially now. Their offense is built around a lost slugger, even though they have plenty of firepower left. The keys for them are going to be how the younger players adapt to the Manny-less offense, such as Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, & James Loney. If they struggle with the added pressure, the Dodgers suffering escalates. My guess, they don't. Still, things can get worse.

The Giants have the next three games to control their own destiny and that is all, unfortunately. Barry Zito vs. Chad Billingsley, Jonathan Sanchez vs. Eric Stults, & Tim Lincecum vs. Jeff Weaver. I think we can assume the Lincecum game is a win (I think I'm going to assume every Lincecum start this year is a win and anything less is total disappointment). Sanchez has been very rusty the last two starts since being skipped so he should be due for a good game...yet the Giants tore Stults a new asshole April 29th so there is significant hope there. I think it all comes down to the Zito game. If he steps up and pitches like his last 3 outings, the Giants have a great chance for a sweep. Unfortunately, Billingsley has had everyone's number this year including the Giants twice, April 13th & 28th.

Even is the Giants don't sweep, the Dodgers schedule isn't exactly looking up between now and July 3rd. Of the Dodgers first 29 games, they are 21-8. Their opponents have been mostly the NL West and the combined records are 68-97, or a .412 winning %. The Next 50 are a lot tougher as they their opponents records are 182-198, or a .479 winning %. of those games, they have road series in Philly, Texas, Florida, Chicago White Sox & Cubs, and LA Angels. All good teams, all at, above, or should be above .500 teams when the series rolls around. Losses probably would have begun to pile with Manny, and now...

Looking closer at the pitching matchups, I can see about a 25-25 record, give or take a game or two, with 22-28 a stretch but possible. if the Giants continue to play ball like they are, come Manny's return, they should be in a dead heat with the Dodgers...

...And that is all we can ask for...Competing within the division heading into July, a month before the trading deadline...and doing it without much offense. Anything is possible; If they they are in this position, Brian Sabean will have an interesting decision to make mid July.


stanwong27 said...

you are too funny esp when you said you heard the Manny news you might have peed a little! Ha Ha!

Nomad said...

the sad thing about Manny and others like him is that juicing might not even help them play baseball any better