Friday, May 08, 2009

So Long, Mannywood

No sooner had we penned a touching article describing all the ways Dodger management would Manny-up the ballpark when the bomb of the year dropped on the left field line.  Manny Ramirez, lord of the NL West, was caught using a banned substance, and won't be playing again until July 3rd.  The initial reports seem to indicate that Manny was taking a "sexual enhancer," but the true breakdown is a little more disturbing.

The substance itself is human chorionic gonadotropin, a chemical normally found in high quantities in pregnant women.  That, in and of itself sets Manny up for all kinds of jokes -- the line from The Governator's Junior is especially apt: "My body; my choice!"  For what it's worth, Manny's not pregnant, and I'm willing to wager he's not taking the medicine for his libido.  He also wouldn't be the first athlete to self inflict morning sickness for the good of his game.  See, hCG, like a few others, is often taken by an athlete after said multimillionaire comes off steroids.  The 'roids, as you've all heard, can do quite a number on the genitals.  The concept of "shriveling up" is easily the most hilarious part, but the imbalance of hormones in the body can cause the male testes to stop producing testosterone (since so much is already present from the drugs).  hCG can help to create testicular function once again, so a ballplayer can go back to making his own endogenous (meaning, from within) testosterone, and continue to smash baseballs.

The post/pre-Manny (between Manny?) era is off to a very poor start.  After breaking a 97-year old record in Manny's last game by starting the season 13-0 at home, the Dodgers stormed out to a 6-0 lead over the Nationals, only to lose the game 11-9 when the bullpen gave up 10 runs in 3 innings.  Obviously, Manny's not in the pen, but it really draws attention to the team's depression that such a massive lead was surrendered to such a hapless opponent.  The loss will also crank the spotlight already on the Dodgers up a few notches, since analysts will not only be scrutinizing the Manny situation, but now discussing whether the Dodgers have enough moxie to keep winning.  However you spell it out, this is a sad situation, and hopefully further details will put Manny in a better light.

GEORGE SHERRILL - We tried our darnedest to come up with a viable solution to the closer mess in Baltimore, and when all was said and done Sherrill still got the save.  It raises some questions about what's actually happening with the team, and given the multiple statements that it's a "closer by committee," we'll probably still see Jim Johnson and Chris Ray get a shot or two at closing a game, but Sherrill may still see the bulk of the opportunities.  If someone dropped him, grab Sherrill and see if he can't still get you 15 saves the rest of the way.  If he's taken, stashing Jim Johnson as a backup isn't a terrible idea, but only if you've got roster space.

BRIAN BANNISTER - Bannister went 6 shutout innings last night to pick up his 3rd victory without a loss.  Bannister is a decent starting option if one of your normal starters is missing some time, but I'd be cautious before running him out against a high octane team like the Blue Jays.  More matchups with the Mariners are looking just fine for Brian, who is even striking out a few more batters this year.

JARROD WASHBURN - The Mariners offense is costing Washburn wins, but Jarrod is still pitching the lights out.  He is making a serious early-season bid for comeback player of the year.  His numbers really weren't too bad last season, but aside from one bad start, Washburn has been very reliable.  He's around the strike zone, and he's pitching well against all types of opponents.

TREVOR CAHILL - Cahill should probably still be in the Minors, but the A's are rushing the youth movement, and Cahill is improving every time out to the mound.  Last night he finally managed to get the ball over the plate, and dominated the streaking Texas Rangers, holding them to a run on 5 hits over 7 innings.  Cahill has a very good ERA (considering his WHIP and record would seem to indicate otherwise), meaning that guys aren't hitting him that well despite all the walks.  If he can continue to throw strikes, Cahill could vault himself into true relevance.  Keep an eye on the youngster for now.

TODD HELTON - His power numbers aren't where they once were, but Helton has his average up to .355.  Helton went just 1-for-4 yesterday, but was hitting near .500 over a 6-game stretch.  If your team needs an AVG and OBP boost, Helton may just come in handy.
Your Ad Here

The information contained on this page is for entertainment purposes only; any use of this information in violation of any federal, state, or local laws is prohibited. The owner of this website assumes no responsibility for the actions by and makes no representation or endorsement of any of these games and/or activities offered by the advertiser.