Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Signed and sealed - Manny is back!!!

The long wait is over. Manny Ramirez has signed a 2-year, $45 million contract to be a Dodger. And all is right in the world!

After meeting for 2 1/2 hours this morning, the contract was signed, ending months of speculation and back-and-forth negotiating between both sides. In the end, practically the same deal was signed that was on the table and then rejected a week ago. Guess Manny had a slight change of heart... or he realized that this was as good as it was going to get.

Whatever the case, I'm just glad this wasn't everyone getting their hopes up only to be let down in the end. Here's what the signing does for the Dodgers:

1. One of the most feared hitters in baseball will now get 4-5 at-bats per night. That's 4-5 times a night the opposing manager will have to decide how in the world to hold this guy down.

2. Youngsters like Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, and James Loney will continue to improve hitting around him. They no longer have to worry about being the power on a powerless team, they now can just relax and rake. Manny's presence lets them do that.

3. The loss of Derek Lowe doesn't sting as much anymore only because the Dodgers now have more offense to make up for it. Which by the way, was something Lowe wasn't convinced would happen.

4. The Dodgers are now clearly the favorite to repeat as NL West champions. They did it last year with Manny in there for 2 months. Now it's a whole season.

5. Lastly, and most importantly... Juan Pierre is no longer a starter! Yes!

It wasn't the most graceful road for Manny, but the bottom line is that he's a Dodger and this upcoming season just got a whole lot more exciting.

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