We have been arguing this for a while. But it is a bit surprising to hear of the Rays players plainly state that the Rays would be better with Manny Ramirez.
“We’d be better with Manny,” Rays infielder Sean Rodriguez said. “You’re talking about an experienced guy who can still hit. Everyone was giving him tough times because he was struggling at the beginning, but everyone goes through funks, and his just came at the beginning of the year. It’s hard to say his resume wouldn’t have helped us. Just look at what Johnny’s done for us.”
Now consider that the Rays are just three games back in the Wild Card. Is Rodriguez saying the Rays would be leading the Wild Card if Manny had accepted his suspension and not retired?
And the last line is curious, because Rodriguez lauds Johnny Damon, but doesn’t consider that Damon’s playing time would have taken the biggest hit if Manny came back on July 31. Something that wouldn’t have been a bad thing.