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Manny Ramirez: 2009 NL MVP??

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I know....he's signed already!! Not another Manny story!!! This will be the last one. Almost every article where Manny Ramirez's name is mentioned is followed by how he quit on his team last year. He quit on the Red Sox. He quit on the Red Sox nation. Fair enough. I think what he did was wrong. But something tells me it was staged, with the producer having the initials-Scott Boras. But thats just me.

I even heard this talk on XM Radio's baseball show a couple nights ago hosted by Holden Kushner. He couldn't believe how Manny Ramirez got a raise when he quit on the Sox last year. So I called him to remind him JD Drew did the same with the Dodgers in 2006, in the middle of a pennant race. He asked out of several games in September while his teammates were fighting for first place.

So, EVERYONE thinks Manny will quit again this year. Even my wife, the Phillies fan. I beg to differ.

Manny Ramirez destroyed NL pitching in August and September....and October. He was 4th in MVP voting in the NL after playing only 2 months in the NL. It's unheard of. Most people don't think Manny can repeat what he did in the last two months of 2008. I agree.....sort of.

In 187 ABs in LA, he went 17-53-.396-.489-.743 with an OPS+ of 219. He won't repeat these numbers. That would be asking him to hit 50+HRs, 150+ RBIs, and hit close to .400. Not gonna happen.

But who's to say he doesn't go 40-125-.340? Is that your NL MVP? I broke down how he hit against the NL West opponents last year- in 123 ABs (35 games), he went 12-39-.392-.464-.863-1.300. Not too shabby considering the quality pitching that resides in the NL West. And the LA lineup ahead of him-Furcal, Hudson and Ethier-is much better this year. Furcal, Hudson and Ethier all get on base at a pretty nice clip. Plus, he can opt out of his contract at the end of the 2009 season to seek even more money in free agency. I think the incentive is there for a very good year from him.

My question to you is: should Manny be going earlier in NL/Mixed drafts in 2009? I see him going around late first, early second in NL only drafts. That may be too late for the 2009 MVP.