Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

The real losers of Manny Ramirez's exit from the Tampa Bay Rays

CHICAGO — In theory, the big loser in the Manny Ramirez mess should be Manny Ramirez.

His legacy is forever tainted, his shot at 600 home runs gone, his chances for election to the Hall of Fame reduced to all but nil.

But you certainly didn't get that sense from how he responded to the positive drug test, walking away rather than fighting or taking his punishment, and definitely not by how he reacted to the news, telling he was "at ease," that "God knows what's best" and that he was heading off to vacation in Spain.

The actual "losers" are the ones left to clean up behind him while he frolics.

For example, the Rays.

Faced with a depleted roster and slashed payroll in a pricey free agent market, executive vice president Andrew Friedman took what seemed like a reasonable risk in waiting out the winter to sign Ramirez for $2 million and Johnny Damon for $5.25 million in an unofficial package deal.

It seemed well-played at the time, with the potential — potential — for a huge payoff, especially if Ramirez took to the challenge of re-establishing himself. But what Friedman didn't know, of course, was Ramirez was not coming in good faith, but as a fraud; and one foolish enough to get caught cheating — again.

So not only do the Rays not get the Manny they planned on, they didn't get the other DHs they considered and could have had, a list topped by Vladimir Guerrero (who ended up getting $8 million from the Orioles) and included Jim Thome (who got $3 million to go back to the Twins), though they really wanted a right-hander.

For example, the fans.

How many spent their hard-earned money to buy Ramirez T-shirts or jerseys, even those silly wigs of his dreadlocked hair? Or bought tickets with the intent of seeing him play? And that's in addition to how many made an emotional investment, embracing a player they for so long didn't like.

For example, those guys at

A group of locals who hatched the idea for a cool Manny/Rays T-shirt spend their own money on a website and product, trying as much to generate interest and goodwill more than profit, agreeing to donate $4 from each sale to the families of St. Petersburg's slain police officers. Now they're stuck with about 500 shirts and, according to founder Jacob Reuter, "looking at a huge loss."

The real losers of Manny Ramirez's exit from the Tampa Bay Rays 04/09/11 [Last modified: Saturday, April 9, 2011 10:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays vs. Orioles, 1:10 p.m. Sunday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Today: vs. Orioles

    1:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 760-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Pitcher Jake Odorizzi #23 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait at Charlotte Sports Park during photo day on February 26, 2014 in Port Charlotte, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
  2. ABC Racing kennel advances three into semifinals


    ST. PETERSBURG — The maiden voyage by Don Burk into the $30,000 St. Petersburg Derby series — his first as the ABC Racing kennel owner — went as easy as ABC.

  3. Bullpen melts down as Rays lose to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Jacob Faria allowed his first two big-league home runs and was touched for a career-high three runs Saturday by the Orioles. Other than that, the rookie making his fourth major-league start did okay against the Baltimore bats.

    The bullpen, not so much.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Baltimore Orioles scored four runs during the eighth inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 24, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) SPD118
  4. Lightning shifts search for defense to free agency

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — As much as he tried, Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman left the weekend's draft without acquiring another top-four defenseman.

    Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures as he speaks to the media about recent trades during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning, over the past few days, have traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings, forward Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Valtteri Filppula to the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA101
  5. Lightning journal: Russian forwards top Day 2 draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — After taking a big, right-shot defenseman in the first round, the Lightning's second day of the draft was headlined by a few skilled Russian forwards.

    Canadiens rookie defenceman Mikhail Sergachev with Brian and Michelle Reid, the billet family he lived with while playing for the OHL's Windsor Spitfires last season. COURTESY OF BRIAN AND MICHELLE REID