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No downside for Sox with Manny
By Barry Rozner | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 8/31/2010 12:01 AM

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Other than spending $4 million of Jerry Reinsdorf's money, there's no real negative for GM Kenny Williams in picking up Manny Ramirez.

Whether there's any upside is entirely up to Manny.

Ramirez can still be a great hitter when he wants to be. So if he can stay healthy and in the lineup, he could be quite helpful down the stretch, especially if the injury to Gordon Beckham has cost them a hot bat for a few days.

It's basically been a done deal since July 31 when Williams first inquired about Ramirez because no one else behind the Sox in the standings wanted him and the Dodgers were certain to put Ramirez on waivers.

Credit L.A. GM Ned Colletti for waiting as long as possible to make the move, hoping his team might get back in the race and hoping Ramirez might show signs of life in L.A.

Neither occurred, so as expected Ramirez is now with the White Sox and will be in the lineup and hitting fifth Tuesday night.

Ramirez has been bothered by injuries or general malaise most of the season, and when he hasn't been hurt he hasn't shown any desire to play.

But with the Sox he's got a manager in Ozzie Guillen who undoubtedly will explain to him that a good month - particularly a big one in a pennant race - can mean another contract in the AL.

Granted, there aren't many players who can push a button and start to hit again after sitting half a season, but if there's a guy capable it's probably Ramirez.

It's hard to get too excited about this move when the Sox are really in need of bullpen help, and it's a lot like the Ken Griffey Jr. move of 2008, when the Sox hoped they might catch lightning in a bottle.

They didn't get a whole bunch from Griffey, but at least he made that one great throw in Game No. 163, and that made it all worth it.

Ramirez won't see the field here since he can't play a position, but if the DH gives the Sox a few big RBI, then this move will have been a plus.

When it ends badly with Manny - and it always does - it will only be a month and easily forgotten, unlike in Boston and L.A.

Just a couple of weeks ago, Williams laughed at the mere mention of Ramirez's name, recalling the last time he saw him.

Ramirez walked past him on the field in 2009, yelling, "Kenny Williams, get me back to the major leagues. No more National League. You got to get me back to the major leagues."

Williams has done his part for Manny. Now we'll see if there's any major league left in Ramirez - or if he's merely a major pain.

Just managing

Is it coincidence that several of the Cubs' young relievers have thrown better since Lou Piniella left town?

Not if you listen to them talk about how increased communication with Mike Quade has given them a better idea of what's expected of them and in what situations.

Just one more example of how Piniella stopped managing the team and how much it hurt the club while he was an empty uniform.

Still active

Jermaine Dye got a hero's welcome Sunday on the South Side but said even that wouldn't be enough to bring him back this year.

"I'm not playing anywhere in September,'' Dye said. "I still want to come back next year and I know I can still play.

"Would I play here (with the Sox) next year? Of course. I never wanted to leave. We'll see what kind of interest there is this winter. If there's a serious offer, I'll play again somewhere.''

Bearing down

Atlanta e-mailer Max Bisschop: "If you're a Bears fan like me, the opener is a no-lose. Either you win and you're 1-0, or you lose to the lowly Lions and the outcry for the coach's job becomes so loud that it might ultimately take him down.''

The quote

Nats manager Jim Riggleman, after Washington's Nyjer Morgan went out of his way to hit Cardinals catcher Bryan Anderson, on a day Riggleman moved Morgan down in the order: "I think he thought I was wearing that (catcher's) equipment there at home plate.''

New math

E-mailer The Last Bear Fan: "If the NFL goes to an 18-game schedule, will Lovie Smith have to hold a press conference at halftime of the fifth and 14th games to explain quarterly season failures?''

Just asking

E-mailer Ed Young: "I wonder if Lou Piniella's wife will put up with him moping around the pool, sipping Mai Tai's and muttering, 'I've done everything I can. What do ya want me to do?' ''

And finally -

E-mailer Pete K. from Schaumburg: "So Bud Selig got a statue. What exactly does it have him doing, turning a blind eye to steroids?''

• Listen to Barry Rozner from 9 a.m. to noon Sundays on the Score's "Hit and Run" show at WSCR 670-AM.