Not Too Man(n)y Options ...

Sunday, May 18 2008 @ 03:50 PM EDT

Contributed by: Mick Doherty

Watching the Red Sox on TV the other day, I realized that the Hall of Names archive, now with more than 300 entries, doesn't actually have an All-Ramirez squad. Just among active players, that will include arguably the best RBI guy in the big leagues (Manny), one of the best young middle infielders (Hanley) and an All-Star at the hot corner (Aramis). This should be a hell of a ballclub, right?

Um, actually, not so much ...

... as at this point, only 19 men with the last/family name "Ramirez" have seen that name plastered across the back of a big league jersey. So we know we won't even be able to build a full 25-man roster. Can we even put together a reasonable game-day lineup? Let's find out as we meet ...

(Don't "get" the team name? Think ... what's Manny's nickname?)
** indicates Hall of Famer (none, yet)
* indicates All-Star

OK, you know what? Forget it. This ain't happening. Sure we can make a bit of a run at assembling a full (if short) pitching staff, as nine of the 19 Ramirez alumni are hurlers, but even then just three were primarily starting pitchers.

As it turns out, nobody named Ramirez ever appeared in a major league game prior to 1970, and by 1980 there had been only four -- all of them primarily shortstops!

So yes, we'd be covered up the middle -- we already mentioned Hanley, but one of the only three Ramirez All-Stars (Hanley will make it four, perhaps as early as this season), Rafael, also played short, as did Mario, Milt and Orlando; current ChiSox youngster Alexei has also taken some turns at short, though he's played all over the middle of the diamond, at 2B, SS and CF -- okay, he's never caught in a game.

But then, nobody named Ramirez has ever caught in a big league game. Texas Ranger youngster Max will change that soon enough; he's hitting nearly .400 with power at AA Frisco right now. But then, Max is apparently also taking ground balls at 1B, which would be good for this team as there is also no current candidate to play 1B -- though surely one of the forty thousand shortstops could pick it there?

If we had to piece together a lineup -- sans catcher, so there will be a lot of passed balls -- it would include ...

MGR: None yet

2B Alexei Ramirez (CF/2B/SS is 8-for-50 so far in '08 CHW debut)
SS Rafael Ramirez* (.261, 112 SB, 1980-92 ATL, HOU; '84 All-Star)
3B Aramis Ramirez* (.280+, 222 homers through 2007)
OF Alex Ramirez (.259, 1998-2000 CLE, PIT)
OF Julio Ramirez (.167, parts of 1999-2005, four teams)
OF Manny Ramirez* (on cusp of 500 homers; .313 career hitter)
DH Hanley Ramirez (SS is .312 career; 51 SB in both 2006, '07)


SS/IF Mario Ramirez (.192, 1980-85)
SS/IF Milt Ramirez (.184, 1970-71 STL, '79 OAK)
SS Orlando Ramirez (.189 for CAL, parts of 1974-79)


LHSP Horacio Ramirez (38-29 through 2007)
RHSP Allan Ramirez (4-4 with 1983 BAL)
LHSP Elizardo Ramirez (4-14, 2004-07 PHI, CIN)

RHRP Edwar Ramirez (1-1, 1 save, in '07 NYY debut)
LHRP Erasmo Ramirez (8-4, parts of 2003-07, three teams)
RHRP Hector Ramirez (1-3, 1999-2000 MIL)
RHRP Ramon Ramirez (6-5 with 2006-07 COL)
LHRP Roberto Ramirez (2-5, 1 save, 1998 SDP, '99 COL)
RHRP Santiago Ramirez (4 games, 3.1 IP, 0-0, 8.10 with 200 WAS)

Ram Tough? ... Manny being Manny could quit right now and waltz into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot ... Even with Aramis at 220+, Manny has more home runs than every other Ramirez in major league history combined -- by a comfortable margin! ... There is no clear candidate to close, but all six guys in the bullpen will need to stay ready to support that three-man rotation that has a career total W-L mark of 46-47 ... The All-Star nod promotes Raffy to starting shorstop ahead of Hanley, but let's just admit that the current Marlin is already better than Rafael ever was -- still, he probably stays at DH.

Honestly, at the outset, I expected this team to be pretty good. As noted earlier, not so much ...