Showing posts with label Manny Ramirez. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Manny Ramirez. Show all posts

Friday, May 3, 2013

Flashback Friday: Fifth Deck Home Runs at the Rogers Centre

Courtesy of
When it comes to home runs, I think most players and fans alike would agree it doesn't matter how high or how far the ball goes, just so long as the ball leaves the yard. But every so often, it's nice to sit back and admire a moon shot, right?

Aside from the Level of Excellence, the Rogers Centre (affectionately remembered as the Skydome for most) is home to another esteemed club; and that is those who have hit home runs into the fifth deck.

It's a a very exclusive club, one that only 13 players belong to since the Skydome first opened in 1989. For this week's Flashback Friday, we look back at the members of the "500 Level Club" at the Rogers Center.

First and foremost, a big thanks to Ken Kosowan who helped provide the data for all the players who have hit home runs into the fifth deck at the Rogers Centre. Here is a full list of all the sluggers below:

Date Player For Against Pitcher Distance
Oct 7 '89 Jose Canseco Oakland Toronto Mike Flanagan 480 -LF
Jul 25 '96 Mark McGwire Oakland Toronto Huck Flener 488 -LF
Jul 27 '96 Joe Carter Toronto Oakland John Wasdin 483 -LF
Jul 19 '98 Carlos Delgado Toronto New York Andy Pettitte 467 -RF
Sep 25 '98 Jose Canseco Toronto Boston Bret Saberhagen 451 -LF
Apr 12 '99 Jose Canseco Tampa Toronto Graeme Lloyd 459 -LF
Apr 22 '99 Shawn Green Toronto Anaheim Tim Belcher 449 -RF
Jun 3 '01 Manny Ramirez Boston Toronto Chris Carpenter 491 -LF
Apr 17 '02 Raul Mondesi Toronto Boston Darren Oliver 456 -LF
Aug 29 '02 Josh Phelps Toronto New York Roger Clemens 455 -LF
Jul 7 '04 Josh Phelps Toronto Seattle Ruben Mateo 435 -LF
Jul 28 '04 Gary Sheffield New York Toronto Miguel Batista 440 -LF
Sep 16 '04 Vernon Wells Toronto Baltimore Rodrigo Lopez 445 -LF
Jun 27 '09 Jayson Werth Philadelphia Toronto Brad Mills 448 -LF
May 31 '11 Shelly Duncan Cleveland Toronto Jo-Jo Reyes 446-LF
Apr 20 '13 Edwin Encarnacion Toronto Boston Jon Lester 427-LF

In total, eight Blue Jays have launched a baseball into the fifth deck: Joe Carter, Carlos Delgado, Jose Canseco, Shawn Green, Raul Mondesi, Josh Phelps, Vernon Wells, and most recently Edwin Encarnacion.

Jose Canseco alone has hit bombs into the fifth deck three times; once as a member of the Oakland A's in 1989, once in 1998 as a member of the hometown Blue Jays, and then again the following season with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Now, to see the names in table is one thing, but to truly appreciate the grandiouseness of these towering home runs, you really do have to see the replay. Unfortunately, I could only find video of a few of them, but that makes them all the more impressive.

First off, it's Jose Canseco's 480 foot home run off Mike Flanagan in Game 4 of the 1989 ALCS. The fact that this home run came in the postseason definitely ups the ante for greatness.

And then we have which still stands as the longest home run ever hit at the Rogers Centre/Skydome. Traveling a whopping 491 feet total, here's Manny Ramirez' tape measure shot off a young Chris Carpenter.

Even the Blue Jays fans that day tipped their cap to Manny as they cheered his near 500 foot shot into the then tarped-off fifth deck of the Rogers Centre.

Of course I would be remissed if I didn't include the most recent member of the 500 Level Club, Edwin Encarnacion. It seems odd that this home run "only" went 427 feet, but it still managed to reach the fifth deck, and is the first man to do so since 2011.

In the future, it might be cool if the Blue Jays did something similar like what the Orioles have done with home runs that have reached Eutaw Street, and commemorate them each with some sort of plaque in the stands.

Once again, thanks to Ken Kosowan for the assistance with the data.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Manny Dance

Will they or won't they?

It's been a very carefully orchestrated dance this offseason between the Toronto Blue Jays and Manny Ramirez, and I think it's about time the two just got it over with and got together already.

The latest update from Jon Heyman suggests that Manny is still on the Blue Jays radar, and one could argue that's actually been the case for the past two seasons. Rosters may have changed since then, but it just feels like Manny Ramirez is the perfect fit for Toronto.

While the idea of Manny in Toronto seems like a great idea itself, the problem at hand is there are so many other working pieces to this team now that signing Manny may not jive with "the plan".

However, let's look at what happened last offseason; was John Buck part of the plan? Was Alex Gonzalez part of the plan? Was Kevin Gregg part of the plan? The resounding answer would be no.

And yet the signing of those players netted Yunel Escobar and a couple of draft picks. Buck, Gonzalez and Gregg were not part of the plan, but they were parlayed into other players who have become part of the plan.

No one has to be worried about Manny Ramirez blocking any prospects from coming up or taking at bats away from anybody else because the only player Manny would be supplanting would be Edwin Encarnacion. And at $2.5 million, it's perfectly acceptable to have EE as a bench player or fourth infielder.

I'm not trying to be naive and think that Manny in a Blue Jays uniform would bring more fans to the ballpark. I just think that rebuilding can be such a painstaking process, that you need to throw the fans a bone once in a while.

Not that the Blue Jays owe anything to the fans, but when it comes to laying the framework for a winning franchise, sometimes it's hard to see the forest through the trees. And a big doe-eyed deer like Manny Ramirez would be the perfect distraction within said forest.

If anything, signing Manny would be a love letter to the fans that would read as follows:
A couple of Scott Boras' clients have already signed lucrative one-year contracts to re-establish their value, so I can't see why Boras wouldn't want Manny Ramirez to do the same. Especially in a city that Manny is extremely fond of in the first place, and for a manager he has a great relationship with.

It might cost upwards of $5 million a season, but I'd gladly welcome Manny's career .379 OBP, 27 home runs and .940 OPS at the Rogers Centre to come play 82 games inside the dome this season.

There's no questioning that Manny Ramirez does not fit in with the long term plans of this team. However, there's nothing wrong with being entertained by his antics in the short term.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mannywood North of the Border?

From the inception major league baseball players begin their careers, they dream of living out their childhood dream of playing for their favourite team.

Some players are fortunate enough to eventually make it there, while others never see the bright lights of their dream destination.

I get the sense that Manny Ramirez grew up dreaming of playing for the Toronto Blue Jays. His favourite player is George Bell, and Manny has had an affliction with the city of Toronto for a long time. Heck, he was even apparently spotted shopping at the Eaton Centre last week.

Now while Manny Ramirez has dreamed of playing for the Blue Jays, the question is are the Blue Jays dreaming of having Manny play for them?

Shortly after the front office made it official and introduced John Farrell as the new manager, Manny being Manny chimed in and said he’d love to play for Farrell and the Blue Jays.

This is nothing new, as over the past several seasons there have been hints that ManRam wants to reside in Toronto. Before he signed his 2-year deal with Los Angeles, many of us drooled at the possibility of having Manny Ramirez in a Blue Jays uniform.

The problem is, that was 2 years ago. Now at 38 years old and in the latter stages of his career, Manny’s skills have diminished to the point where he would have to be relegated to the designated hitter position. Not only that, but with Scott Boras as his agent, you can be certain he’s going to attempt to pry as much money out of the Blue Jays pockets as possible.

Another thing is I don’t think Manny Ramirez is the kind of player that would put the Blue Jays over the top. Manny is not the final piece in the puzzle that would send Toronto to the playoffs for the first time in 17 years. Yes, he would be a great addition to this team and could provide a boost to the on base percentage that the Blue Jays desperately need. However, ManRam is just a temporary solution.

If the price is right and the contract is reasonable, then yes … I’m in favour of bringing Manny Ramirez to Toronto. If Alex Anthopoulos feels ManRam is part of "the plan", then go for it. In the past, the Blue Jays have spent their money in much worse ways.

But this shouldn’t be a vanity signing or anything. Let's not kid ourselves and say Manny Ramirez is going put more fans in the stands in Toronto. So let’s hold off on building the Mannywood North sign for the time being.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mannywood shut down

Manny Ramirez has collectively screwed the Los Angeles Dodgers and fantasy baseball owners everywhere. But I have a feeling that fantasy owners are taking the news of his suspension the hardest.

As you’ve heard by now, Manny has been suspended 50 games for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. The jury is still out on what exactly he was using. I’ve heard reports today that it was medication for a “personal medical issue”, even a women’s fertility drug called HCG, which would explain the mood swings. Hell, maybe Manny is just using really strong afro cream.

At least use some cop-out excuse like it was something that he picked up from GNC. But by automatically refusing to appeal the case, doesn’t that basically point to Manny being guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs anyway?

To all of those that were begging J.P. Ricciardi to sign Manny Ramirez, we are now breathing a sigh of relief that the Blue Jays weren’t on the Manny Ramirez sweepstakes. It was not necessarily a great business move at the time, but the lack of payroll prevented the Jays from tabling an offer to Manny anyway. Things seem to have panned out without him, though.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Gas is down, and so is Manny

There was a time in the not-too-distant past when we were paying $1.35 for a litre of gas. There was also a time when Manny Ramirez could command a $25 million dollar a year contract. But it just so happens that both the price on crude oil and Manny Ramirez have both gone down significantly in the last 6 months.

I imagine that Manny will most likely end up taking the 2 year/$45 million dollar contract from the Dodgers, but Scott Boras is trying to pry as much money as humanly possible from whichever team eventually signs Ramirez. I know the “Manny as a Jay” fantasies have been beaten to a death, but it would be cool to see the price drop enough so that J.P. Ricciardi could throw an offer on the table.

The trend seems to be going that way at least. Jason Giambi signed for $5 million a season. Pat Burrell signed for $8 million a season. Adam Dunn will likely sign around the $6 million a season range, so why not Manny too? I guess for now, we'll have to settle for Jason Lane and Brandon Fahey.

Monday, January 5, 2009

DH Clearance Sale

Here I was, ready to blog about how there were still a tonne of big bats out on the market, and then Pat Burrell and Milton Bradley had to ruin it all.

Now that it appears the Tampa Bay Rays have signed Pat Burrell, and the Cubbies have locked up Milton Bradley. So now the DH pool is getting shallower and shallower by the week. Here is a look at some of the big bats that are still available - none of which the Blue Jays will be going after, unfortunately.

Manny Ramirez (37 HR, 121 RBI)
Probable Suitors: Dodgers, Giants

Ramirez is a Scott Boras client, so of course whatever team signs Manny is going to get f*cked financially (just picture a dollar sign giving it to them from behind). Ultimately, I think Manny will just float back to the Dodgers because so far they have offered him the most money.
There is a possibility that he might travel across the bay to the Dodgers, but I think it's unlikely.

Jason Giambi (32 HR, 96 RBI)

Probable Suitor: Athletics

If Giambi gets his way, he just might return to the team where he discovered the magic of HGH. Watch for him to take a huge pay cut this season, as there is no way in hell he will make anywhere close to the $23 million he was paid in 2009.

Adam Dunn (40 HR, 100 RBI)
Probable Suitors: Nationals, Orioles

Did you know that Adam Dunn doesn’t even like baseball? Did you also know that he also tried out for the Mousekateers when he was a child, but the producer said he looked like a lumberjack? Regardless of that, it looks like Dunn will either sign with the Cubs or Nationals. Basically, whatever team didn't land Milton Bradley will pick up Adam Dunn. Plus, the Nationals would probably be willing to spend a shitload on Dunn since they were the original favourite to sign Mark Teixeira.

Bobby Abreu (20 HR, 100 RBI)
Probable Suitor: Dodgers, Athletics

Abreu is probably the least talked-about big bat that should be paid attention to. In the last 6 seasons, he has quietly hit 100+ RBI’s and has hit 20+ HR in 5 of his last 6 years. Abreu’s name gets lost among the talk about ManRam and Bradley, but Bobby is truly a solid player. Whichever team signs him will likely get him at a discount, too.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Digging through the bargain bin

You know those bins at Walmart where you always see people sifting through the $9.99 DVD's? The ones that are home to such cinematic gems as Battlefield Earth, Hot Shots Part Deux, and Little Nicky? The movies that most people (including the actors that starred in them) would rather think that were never made?

Well, today J.P. Ricciardi sifted through a similar free agent bargain bin and picked out catcher Michael Barrett. Much like Matt Clement, Barrett is another reclaim project that is a low risk/high reward possibility for the 2009 season. He was signed to a minor league deal with the hopes that Barrett might possibly be the backup for Rod Barajas. Since there was no indication that Curtis Thigpen or J.P. Arencebia were going to be the number two catcher, this somewhat solidifies the catching situation for next year.

It may not be a signing of Mark Teixeira or C.C. Sabathia proportions, but at least it's something. And the latest news is that the Los Angeles Dodgers are looking at Adam Dunn to possibly replace Manny Ramirez as their big bat. So the longer that Manny is a free agent, the better the chance that the Blue Jays can sign him at a discount.

If J.P. Ricciardi can get a big return on one of these bargain bin signings, then I won't make fun of people who dig through the $9.99 DVD bin at Walmart anymore.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Quiet before the Free Agent Shitstorm

So it's almost been one week of free agency, and we're still waiting for one of the big three (Sabathia, Teixeira, Manny) to find a home for the 2009 season. Now, we've learned that Sabathia won't make a decision until after finishing his thanksgiving leftovers. The Blue Jays are officially out of the Manny sweepstakes, and it looks like Teixeira will go wherever the hell he can get the most cash.

Although we've seen a few trades here or there, I'm still waiting for that first big off season signing to get the ball rolling on this free agent frenzy. Considering that J.P. said he won't really be in the mix, I am clinging to any sort of positive news looking into the 2009 season.

Part of looking forward to next season is being very open-minded about things. It can be very easy to be pessimistic and think that 2009 will only be worse for the Blue Jays, but there are a lot of possibilities. Despite the fact that the Yankees will sign some big guns in the arms race of the American League East, that doesn't necessarily guarantee success. After all, just look back at the 2008 Detroit Tigers, who many people picked early as World Series contenders.

So come on, somebody make a move already so we can enjoy some off season entertainment! Because frankly, the Wiser's is starting to wear off.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Manny = Success

Although Manny Ramirez and the Los Angeles Dodgers were left standing in the dust as the Philadelphia Phillies celebrated their World Series berth, Manny can rest assured that he makes teams better.

I saw an interesting piece during the game tonight showing how success seems to follow Manny wherever he goes. In his years with the Cleveland Indians (1993-2000), they scored 5 consecutive division titles. In his years with the Boston Red Sox (2001-2008), Manny helped the Red Sox to 2 World Series titles. Now in his short tenure so far in Los Angeles, Manny has guided the Dodgers to the NLCS.

So the formula seems very simple: Manny = Success.

Paul Beeston, make sure you get on J.P.'s ass and tell him to get Scott Boras on the phone and start making this thing happen. We need to bring Manny Ramirez to Toronto for the 2009 season.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Who wants a Red Sox/Dodgers World Series?

There is almost as much demand for a Red Sox & Dodgers World Series as there was for the Olsen Twins to turn 18. While the story of the 2008 regular season may have been Tampa Bay Rays, the World Series that everyone now wants to see is Manny vs. The Massholes.

Out of all the potential World Series match ups that could happen, this is probably the most interesting. Manny Ramirez the “cancer in the locker room” comes back to haunt his old team - yes the media would certainly have a shitstorm with the prospect of that situation.

On Jeremy Accardo's latest blog, he also talks about how he hopes it will be a Sox/Dodgers World Series. I personally am still standing by my Red Sox/Phillies prediction, but also agree that the ratings for a Red Sox/Dodgers World Series would be through the roof. After some lackluster Division Series, let's hope the League Championship Series are a little less yawn-worthy.

And just in case you're wondering what a Red Sox/Dodgers World Series might sound like, have a listen to my attempt at what might be the worst Boston accent EVER.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Toronto Wants to get in on the Manny Show

Who doesn't watch Manny Ramirez light it up in Los Angeles, and wonder what he could do the same for Toronto? Arguably, he was the best offensive player in the NL in the second half, and now it looks like his team will be on their way to the NLCS unless the Chicago Cubs can pull a rabbit out of their hat and win the next three.

Your votes on the Blue Jay Hunter poll basically solidified what everyone already knew: the Toronto Blue Jays need Manny Ramirez in their lineup next year. Manny took 57 % percent of the vote for "Which free agent would you like to see in a Blue Jays uniform in '09". Coming in second was Jim Thome with 23 percent of the vote. After talking to Tim Dierkes of, he notified me that Thome apparently met his atbat requirement for 2009 or something, so he will not be a free agent next year. So that leaves us with Derek Lowe at 15 percent of the vote, and Jason Giambi at 3 percent.

Obviously it would be a wet dream come true if Manny were to come to Toronto next year, but the further the Dodgers go in the playoffs, the more money Manny will likely make next year. Which means Toronto will likely be out of the running against team with higher payrolls. But I see this as a great opportunity to pick up Derek Lowe, who was absolutely stellar against the Cubbies.

Either way, the Jays need to pick up one of those Dodgers in the offseason - especially if Burnett walks. Besides, the Manny show would fight right here in Toronto. Season premiere next April anyone?

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Manny being Uncanny


Well, he got his wish.

Manny Ramirez is giving up the green monster, bawston accents, and the Red Sox to be a Los Angeles Dodger. Jason Bay takes his place in left field, and now the Pittsburgh Pirates have four players to figure out what the hell to do with.

With this deal, I'm reminded of the Jays/Cardinals swapping of 3rd basemen in the offseason. The Red Sox didn't really upgrade in left field, they just shipped away a problem in the clubhouse. It looks like the Dodgers got the best short-term results in this deal, as it could help them in their playoff run to a NL West Title.

Jason Bay will likely be a very welcome addition to the Red Sox clubhouse. With his quiet demeanor and stereotypical Canadian kindness, the Boston baseball media will likely have a field day with Bay's occasional comments.

Blue Jays fans should be esctatic about Manny being traded to the Dodgers - he has feasted on Blue Jays hitting over his career. I don't have the statistics on hand, but I'm pretty sure he's hit the highest amount of homeruns against the Blue Jays. So I say, peace out Manny - hit some long bombs against National League teams!

Trade Deadline - Judgment Day


Today is the day where playoff-hopeful teams make their moves, and others that don’t have a chance in hell hope to rebuild for the future. Welcome to Trade Deadline Day.

Speaking of teams that are looking to the post-season, the Chicago White Sox acquired Ken Griffey Jr. The deal was announced earlier this morning, but it was waiting on the go ahead from Griffey - now they are just waiting on final approval from the commissioner. The Reds in return will receive Nick Masset and Danny Richar. The question is though - where is Griffey going to fit in? The White Sox outfield already consists of Dye, Quentin and Swisher. Maybe he’ll just DH and replace Jim Thome.

And now, the possible blockbuster of the day; trade winds are swirling into a hurricane of reports that there is a 3-team offer out there between Boston, Florida and Pittsburgh that would send Manny Ramirez to the Marlins, Jason Bay to the Red Sox, and a shitload of prospects to the Pirates. I think the likeliness of this deal happening is very unlikely; if A-Rod can stay in New York after that media circus last year, then Manny can most certainly stay in Boston.

After weeks and weeks of scouting, it is almost certain A.J. Burnett is going to stay with the Jays. Now it looks like the only Jay that could be on the move is Gregg Zaun. The Marlins were looking to fill the catcher position, but with Pudge off the market they could make a move for Zauny. I guess that all depends if the Marlins land Gerald Laird.

Much like the Angels, the Rays are also in the hunt to beef up their offense to solidify a good post season run. Depending on how the Manny-Bay-Prospects deal goes, the Rays could make a run to pick up Jason Bay. Failing that, it appears their backup plan is Adam Dunn. Though apparently the Reds are selling Dunn way too high for any teams to be interested.

And we end with Brian Fuentes - ever since the Rockies began to crumble, it was widely publicized that Colorado would be shopping their flavour-of-the-week closer. But now, they have almost completely backed off of Fuentes trade talks. Maybe they think it’s possible to make up 7 games in the NL West before October. Hell, we’ve seen it before - so why not?
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