"Touch 'em all, Manny!"
Manny Ramirez is eligible to join the A's Wednesday for their day game in Minnesota, but to do that he'd need to fly out tomorrow -- which would make today's Rivercats game his last. The A's have been waiting to see if Manny is "ready for prime time" and before today Ramirez was just 6 for 28 (.214) with six singles. Generally when you're slugging .214 against AAA pitching, you could use a tad more refining.
Today, Manny went 2 for 4 with, yes, a pair of singles, raising his average -- and slugging percentage -- to .250. Wheeeee. However, results are not important here. What's important is whether Manny is getting the kind of swings, and resulting hard contact, that suggests he has his timing back. Will the A's bend sideways to see today's 2 for 4 as "good enough"? The last odds we heard from manager Bob Melvin were "50/50" on Manny being activated on Wednesday. That was before the A's dropped their sixth in a row today.
I'm betting the A's will go ahead and tell Manny to board a plane to Minneapolis tomorrow. The reality is this: Ramirez doesn't have to perform all that well right now in order to be an upgrade. The A's are a .210 hitting team whose DHs are part of the whole "not setting the world on fire" extravaganza proudly on display in Oakland.
Even if he struggles for the next week, he will just replace someone else who has been struggling but he will add an element of excitement and presence to the lineup. Nothing against Seth Smith and his tremendous presence, of course. Which one are you again, Seth? Or Jonny Gomes, whose at bat to end today's game made one pine for Manny to get that shot just because it couldn't have gone worse and it would have been a heck of a lot more interesting.
By Friday, I'm expecting to see the following lineups as available in Kansas City:
Weeks - 2B
Smith or Crisp- LF
Reddick - RF
Ramirez - DH
Cespedes - CF
Inge - 3B
Ka'aihue/Barton - 1B
Suzuki - C
Pennington - SS
Granted, Manny looks better on paper, where he could be the Manny of 2006 for all we know, than he might in an actual 2012 batter's box, but since the A's aren't hitting, or winning, on the field right now, let's at least look better on paper! I'm guessing that's how the A's will convince themselves to put Manny on a flight to Minnesota. Plus, he's hot: 2 for his last 4!!!!!!!
UPDATE, 7:38pm PDT: Or not...Apparently, the A's have chosen patience and the earliest we'll see Manny is on Friday...