The Oakland Athletics would be smart to sign Manny Ramirez to a one-year contract if and when the former major leaguer makes a return to the big leagues. It’s a no-brainer.

Oakland, reported to be heavily interested in signing Ramirez, is known for acquiring former sluggers like Frank Thomas, Mike Piazza and Hideki Matsui in their autumn playing days.The thing is, Ramirez has only produced positive results for performance-enhancing drugs twice. He retired days after the test results were made public.

What’s the big deal if the Ramirez project fails? He goes away. Oakland has players that can fill the designated-hitter slot, but Ramirez has produced power numbers that no one else on the roster has come near.

Do A’s fans want more utility players platooning at designated hitter, or would they rather watch someone who’s known for having potential pop in their bat?

Which has more appeal? That shouldn’t even be a question.

Commenters on a story that was posted about the Ramirez-A’s connection yesterday said “Yes, it would be a bad decision,” “He’ll be a cancer in the clubhouse” and “The A’s don’t have any pride.”

To commenter No. 1, the only bad decision in this case would be if Oakland did absolutely nothing to try to sign Ramirez. Baseball is a business and the risk versus reward in this case is too good to pass up.

To commenter No. 2, who’s there for Ramirez to have problems with in the clubhouse?



He’s going to be a designated hitter. It’s a one-person position. He’s not going to have to catch Dallas Braden or relay throws to Chad Pennington from the outfield. He can be a loner. As long as the production is there, nobody is going to care what he does. If there’s no production, he gets cut.


The A’s cut Jason Giambi when he faded away a few years ago.

To commenter No. 3, how can the A’s lose PRIDE when they’re already near rock bottom?

This is an organization that PRIDES itself on covering off the third deck of its stadium and boosting the prices of its mediocre second-deck seats on every day other than Wednesdays.

This is a club that PRIDES itself on FedEx-ing any player that has a promising future to a team that’s willing to pay for it.

This is a team that PRIDES itself on signing aging stars and making them their power hitter, and that’s the case with Ramirez potentially coming here. He’d be here to swing a bat, not play the outfield or first base.

Not to be forgotten, he has to serve a 50-game suspension (reduced from 100) once he returns, but that won’t be a problem in Oakland. Something tells me that if he signs with the A’s, fans will be begging for him to be batting cleanup come game No. 51 of the regular season.

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