Friday, May 8, 2009

Could the Manny Suspension be Good for the Dodgers?

Manny Ramirez of the Los Angeles Dodgers has been suspended by Major League Baseball today for 50 games for using hCG, a women's fertility drug. This is a huge hit to the whole LA Dodgers organization. But I think this may be a silver lining for the Dodgers.

Yes, they lose a guy who makes their whole lineup better from top to bottom. The front office loses their biggest marketing tool within Dodger Stadium. But here is why this could be a good thing in the long run. The Dodgers do not have to pay Manny for 50 games, which puts them right around the All-Star break. It's not like LA doesn't have a quality lineup without Manny - and they are in a division that is winnable without their star outfielder. They still have Orlando Hudson, Matt kemp, Andre Ethier and Russell Martin. Their staff still has Chad Billingsley and Clayton Kershaw - a very good 1-2 punch.

Also a good thing - Manny will be healthy for the stretch drive and will only have to play a limited amount of games during the dog days of summer. So, when he comes back - he is going to be 100% - and that will be scary for everyone in the NL West. Plus, with the Dodgers saving around $8-$10 million dollars by not having to pay Manny - this team can now go out and add either another quality starter to an already deep starting staff, or strengthen a bullpen that looks like has a big time stopper in Jonathan Broxton. And who knows, with the economy the way it is - they might be able to go out and add a big time impact bat to add to the lineup - how much scarier can that lineup get?

So if the Dodgers can stay in the race through the All-Star break - I think this team will be an even greater favorite to come out of the National League and go to the World Series.
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