McCarver, and others, have pointed to Ramirez's numbers with the Dodgers, which are stunning: .397 after joining the Dodgers, with 17 home runs and 53 RBIs in 187 at-bats..347! Sure Manny was biding his time, just like those other .350 dive artists Chipper and Pujols.
In his last month with Boston, Ramirez hit .347 with a .473 on-base percentage. But Ramirez has been dogged by allegations he didn't play hard and quit on his Red Sox teammates late in his tenure in Boston.
It is hard to defend Manny: has there ever been a man so "mistreated" by a team that paid him a mint and treated him like a god. And whenever a ball goes to left field, Manny becomes the Two Face of defense-men, flipping a coin to see if he'll even bother running. But when a player gives you a .300 Batting Average over a season of play, does anyone really have a right to complain.
It reminded me of another master of throwing a game.
I'm not saying Joe Jackson didn't line his pocket with thousands of Arnold Rothstein's greenbacks. His World Series stats, however, make you wish more players took bribes:
.375 BA. .563 SLG. 6 RBI
Players get on streaks when they move to new cities, hot, cold, and subzero (Andruw Jones, take a bow). Who knows if Manny was holding back in Boston. What we do know: Hitting .300 in the majors is remarkable. And .400 is godlike. Luckily, we got the latter.