Manny Ramirez is visibly slumping, looking lost at the plate and swinging poorly on pitches that he would absolutely crush earlier this season, and in particular late last season. Yes, it might be the lack of steroids, of course. But I'd been trying to track where the slump began, to see if there might be other explanations.
I'd thought it was the Bobbleslam Curse, since Manny is batting .245 with a horrific .709 OPS since the pinch-hit grand slam. The team has gone 13-16 in this period, in which Ramirez has hit but two home runs across 29 games.
But Darren Everson of the WSJ thinks Reds pitcher Homer Bailey is to blame, since two games prior (July 21), losing pitcher Bailey had plunked Manny on the hand:
Manny Ramirez fans may be wondering if his 50-game drug suspension has affected his performance at the plate. But Mr. Ramirez's decline dates to July 21, when he got hit on the left hand by a Homer Bailey fastball. Before the plunking, Mr. Ramirez had hit .333 in 48 post-suspension at-bats; in the 30 games since (before Monday night [on which the Dodgers did not play! Should have checked the schedule, Darren]), he was at .252, including a 44-at-bat RBI drought that began two at-bats after he got hit by the pitch.
The drought point is well-taken, and supports his theory more than mine if you believe that RBI are entirely under Manny's control. If not, the BobbleSlam Curse batting average is a more telling indicator. Any other theories to why our Manny is slumping? And more importantly, any thoughts on how we can get Manny out of this slump?