Monday, August 4, 2008

Manny 99

The Globe's Extra Bases blog has a roundup of everything just about everyone is saying or writing about Manny's first couple of days in Los Angeles. This bit about uniform numbers, originally reported by Scott Miller at CBS, has little to do with Manny, but I found it interesting:
Ramirez's second choice was No. 34 but, well, that was Fernando Valenzuela's number. "It's not retired, but it's retired in our hearts," said Mitch Poole, Dodgers' clubhouse manager.
There's probably an interesting book, well, a long article anyway, to be written about the politics of retired numbers. The no-brainers like Ruth's 3 and Kaline's 6 are boring. It seems that lately, however, we've had a lot of good-but-not great guys' become interesting from the retired number perspective. Remember that flap about LaTroy Hawkins wearing Paul O'Neill's 21? Now you have this Fernando stuff.

If I'm running a team I probably don't set the bar so high as to only allow Hall of Famers' numbers to be retired, but it seems like you gotta have some standard or protocol in place, doesn't it?

10 comments:

Jason said...

I thought Manny's "choice" of #99 was great, with a strange parallel to the Kings landing Gretzky so many years ago. Established the Kings as a major hockey threat and Manny did the same for the Dodgers in the NL West.

Of course, The Great One brought along Janet Jones and Manny probably brought his ebay grill.

A. H. Paschal said...

Pos looked at every retired number earlier this year: http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/2008/04/23/way-more-than-you-wanted-on-retired-numbers/

Justin Zeth said...

It's a little strange that the Dodgers want to protect Valenzuela's #34, but they handed Orel Hershiser's #55 right over to Russell Martin, isn't it?

Chris Heer said...

This just in: the San Diego Padres announce the retirement of number 29 in honor of Archi Cianfrocco.

Archi Cianfrocco fever: CATCH IT! Oh, my.

Mark Armour said...

Jason, I would be careful before making comparisons between Janet Jones and Mrs. Ramirez. Mrs. Ramirez is smoking, charming, and one of the best things about the Manny Show in Boston.

Dre said...

On the broadcast, Scully said 99 was like Manny's 4th-5th choice.

If my memory is right, he wanted 34 and then 24, then decided to go with 66, didn't like it and went 99 instead.

Jeff J. Snider said...

If Manny signs a long-term contract with the Dodgers this fall, I expect him to show up wearing #34 if he wants it. The comparison to Russell Martin wearing #55 is apt, as Fernando and Orel are both Dodger Legends who will never make the Hall of Fame. I'm sure it was easier for the Dodgers to hand over #55 to Martin, knowing (or at least hoping at the time) that he would be with them for years to come. But to hand over Fernando's number to a two-month rental ... well, that's obviously something they weren't ready to do. But if Manny leads them to the World Series this fall and then signs on to play four more seasons in LA, I bet he can have any number he wants.

Justin Zeth said...

I'll take that bet. $27 million says he can't have #32.

RoyceTheBaseballHack said...

Am I the only one who picked up on the Springsteen, 'Nebraska' reference in the entry title? Kudos, Shyster.

Craig Calcaterra said...

Good eye, Royce! I also inserted a kinda subtle Nebraska reference in the Skip Caray post, though that wasn't totally intentional in that "everything dies" is kind of a personal philosophy/theory/guiding principle to me as much as it is a lyric to "Atlantic City."

But "Atlantic City" is one of my favorite Springsteen songs ever, so take it either way.