Orioles Vice-President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette has restored a lot of his former connections from his time with the Boston Red Sox, but it appears former Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez will not be in Camden Yards this year in orange and black-according to the GM himself tonight at Sports Legends Museum.
It was widely speculated over the last week and a half that the Orioles were strongly considering the 12-time All-Star and 500-home run member to platoon at DH along with the recently-acquired Wilson Betemit.
However, the Duquette put that speculation to rest tonight to a group of reporters at Babe’s Birthday Bash at Sports Legends.
“I don’t think there’s going to be a fit for Manny,” Duquette said to MASN and a select group of reporters. “We’ve looked at that all winter and I’m not sure there’s a fit there for the Orioles. I wish Manny a lot of luck, but I just don’t think he fits in our ballclub right now.”
With pitchers and catchers on their way to Sarasota to report to spring training (including the likes of Orioles P Tommy Hunter who joined Glenn Clark on “The Reality Check” Friday), Duquette felt like management was content with the team at place as they ready for the 2012 season.
“We’ll, we’ve got plenty in camp and we should be able to weed through the guys we have,” Duquette said. “We’ve made a concerted effort to add on-base percentage to complement the power hitters. He had four guys hit 20 home runs. There are only a couple teams in the league with 20-home run guys – four of them – and we have four of them.”
Even if the Orioles brought Ramirez in for a look, he was expected to split time with Wilson Betemit at DH and would not be an option in the field turning 40 in May.
He also is currently facing a 50-game suspension by Major League Baseball for an infraction of MLB’s Drug Policy. In December from an appeal by Ramirez, the suspension-which was handed down last year when he was a member of the Tampa Bay Rays-was reduced in half the games.
The Duquette-to-Ramirez connection goes back to the off-season
of 2000 when the Duquette signed the former Silver Slugger away from the Cleveland Indians.
Despite Duquette’s dismissal in 2002, Ramirez remained in Boston until 2008 helping the Red Sox to win two World Series titles in 2004 and 2007 before his departure to the Dodgers at the trade deadline in 2008.
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