White Sox cornering the market on free thinkers
It's official - Manny Ramirez is now with the White Sox.
He's expected to be in the lineup Tuesday and will get things rolling with a road trip down memory lane: first against the Indians, who drafted him, then the Red Sox, the team he helped propel to a World Series sweep in 2007.
In Chicago, expect to see him as the designated hitter, somewhere behind ex-Indians teammate Omar Vizquel.
The White Sox got him on a straight waiver claim, providing no players in return. They will pay only the $3.8 million left on his contract.
It will be interesting to see how his colorful personality meshes with that of manager Ozzie Guillen. Ramirez is given more to quirky behavior, Guillen to inflammatory pronouncements, but it would be an understatement to call either one an individualist.
They can match wits in Spanish and probably make as much sense to the Anglos as they would in English.
If Ramirez can help bat the White Sox into the postseason, he can be any kind of Manny he wants to be.
Beltre keeps right on chugging
One reason the Red Sox are still in the postseason hunt is Adrian Beltre's refusal to let injuries slow him down. In a season in which almost every key player has visited the DL, Beltre just plays right on through.
In Sunday's loss at Tampa Bay, he hobbled to second on a liner to shallow left despite obvious pain in his left hamstring. Then he limped as fast as he could to score on Daniel Nava's single to right. A similar scenario had played out the day before.
"I'm stubborn, and I know sometimes I can go overboard, but unless [my hamstring] blows up, I'm going to play," he said.
Entering Tuesday night, he's tied with Marco Scutaro for the team lead in games played at 127. He leads in hits (157), doubles (38) and RBIs (88).
But like Elvis and the blue suede shoes, he does have one vulnerable spot: He doesn't like having his head rubbed - which happens a lot when you key that many wins. He's serious about it and was filmed taking a swing at Victor Martinez in the dugout over this very point.
Good luck keeping them off you. You'd have better luck if you said you liked having your head rubbed.
Contact staff writer Bob Kelley at email@example.com.
This article contains information from the Associated Press.