Thursday, May 7, 2009

Slugger Cheats: Why Does Everyone Seem So Shocked?

I thought I was going to write today about how that Lakers-Rockets series exploded last night. I was going to rip Kobe Bryant, and Ron Artest, and Von Wafer, and Luke Walton, and Sasha Vujacic, and especially Derek Fisher. I was going to rip Lakers' radio announcer, Mychal Thompson, for saying that Fisher had "sacrificed himself for the team" when he made one of the dirtier plays in recent memory to level Luis Scola.

But now I guess I should write about how Manny Ramirez "sacrificed himself for the team." Because by Thompson's definition, "sacrificing one's self" means cheating and getting suspended, and that's just what Manny has done.

At this point, we know very little about this Manny-cheater story, but we know this: he took a banned drug and is out for 50 games, and he says the drug was prescribed for a legitimate medical condition.

Perhaps we should all withhold judgement on this one till we find out what the "medical condition" was, what exactly this drug does, and if the Florida doctor is legit (why are these doctors always from Florida?). But that ship sailed a long time ago for professional athletes, so Manny can kiss the Hall of Fame goodbye.

So Manny cheated and he's gone. And the Dodgers are left to keep the train on track until July without him. Just for posterity's sake, let's record some key stats at this point and see exactly what kind of influence Manny has on this team:

Record: 21-8, .724 (13-0 at home, 8-8 on road)
Standing: 1st in NL West by 6.5 games, 4.5 game ahead of the Wild Card, best record in baseball by 1.5 games
Runs per game: 5.55 (Manny: .815 - 2nd LA)
Batting average: .283 (Manny: .348 - 1st LA)
Homers per game: .83 (Manny: 6 HR - t-1st LA)
Slugging percentage: .426 (Manny: .641 - 1st LA)
On Base percentage: .376 (Manny .492 - 1st LA)
Orlando Hudson: .342, .793 runs/game, .586 RBI/game, .103 HR/game
Andre Ethier: .317, .759 runs/game, .931 RBI/game, .207 HR/game
James Loney: .276 .310 runs/game, .690 RBI/game, .000 HR/game
Matt Kemp: .275, .607 runs/game, .607 RBI/game, .107 HR/game
Rafael Furcal: .264, .808 runs/game, .269 RBI/game, .039 HR/game
Russell Martin: .242, .480 runs/game, .520 RBI/game, .000 HR/game
Casey Blake: .225, .500 runs/game, .536 RBI/game, .179 HR/game
Juan Pierre (Manny's presumptive replacement) is hitting .335 but mostly in pinch-hit role, so his other per-game offenseive statistics are not relevant.
Staff ERA: 3.72
Run Differential: +55
The Dodgers are currently 3rd in baseball is runs/game, 5th in hits/game (9.59), 20th in HR/game (.828), 2nd in BA (.283), 1st in On Base % (.376), 12th in Slugging % (.426) and 7th in OPS (.802).

At least ESPN stopped talking about the Thursday meeting between Brett Favre and Brad Childress (that apparently was never actually planned). Well, they stopped talking about it for about 20 minutes.

Seriously though, what the hell was Derek Fisher thinking?

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