Have You Tried the Rays NEW D&M Sandwich?


pbj.jpgExaminer.com photo file

 

Got to tell you, when I first heard the signing rumblings recently about Florida-born Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez possibly signing with the Tampa Bay Rays, it made me ………extremely hungry.Yes, you heard that right, I became famished, and eager to sit down and digest this whole enchilada bite by bite. Not sure why this idea of “food” as an analogy point crept into my mind, but the more I focus in on the Rays Republic’s knowledge on these two iconic aging stars, the more my thoughts seem to melt into an ever expanding culinary direction.

The extremely wild part of it all is tat I instantly imagines a homemade Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich when thinking about these two players signing with the Rays. If you really look deep into this equation, the two of them were brought in to be a cohesive bonding agent for the Rays offense. Both have strengths and abilities that will benefit each other, and with their confidence and leadership, could mesh this unit into the perfect PB & J.

Of course Damon is the Peanut Butter with his smooth stroke at the plate and good running style. Coming to a team like the Rays that use the stolen base as an additional means to produce scoring opportunities, Damon will get more than a few chances to stretch him self from the heel to the crown of the bread loaf, and smother himself. Most might think I would pick Ramirez for the peanut butter since he does have his “nutty” tendencies, but the P B is all Damon.

Not the crunch variety either. I honestly think this was a great move that will actually streamline the Rays running game and produce some great numbers for Damon in 2011. Most people are downplaying the positive aspects of Damon coming here, but remember, the Detroit Tigers were not known for their love of the stolen base last season. Now the big question might be where to insert Damon into this line-up to take advantage of this speed-based offense.

That brings me to another reason why Damon is peanut butter. You see, it is not jelly and peanut butter, but peanut butter and jelly. With that culinary distinction, Damon should hit lead-off. Some might suggest B J Upton there with his speed and power potential, but I see Upton actually hitting second and give Damon chances to not only score runs, but possibly put pressure on the opponent’s defense to make the hard plays.

But you can’t have PB & J without the jelly. Ramirez is still a great hitter. Just because some of his power numbers have taken a spiral downward since his 50-game in-season vacation while with the Los Angeles Dodgers doesn’t mean it was “juice-induced”. Jelly is all about the preservatives, pectin and the ultimate fruit tastes that push this classic sandwich to the next level.

Living in FL, I have gotten to know odd flavor concepts in jelly from orange to guava escalating into my new favorite mango. Ramirez is like a ripen mango, and ready for the picking. He was not happy in La-la Land, and at times his play on the field showed brightly to the fans that if Manny is not happy….Manny takes to playing the game on his own level. Hence the mango jelly.

It is an acquired taste. Some people would be repulsed by it while others savor the exotic nature of it all knowing the difference is what makes it special. Hence, Ramirez is the Manny Mango in my jelly-based opinion. Ramirez was brought here to protect the Rays golden asset, budding MLB hot shot Evan Longoria in the line-up. Ramirez’s ability to hit it long and hard, or just produce period makes him a great protector for Longoria in the Rays line-up.

Playing mostly at DH for the Rays ( except during Inter-League), it is a chance for Manny to show the rest of the American League that he can make the transition from everyday field player to Designated Hitter. This is a chance for the Rays and Ramirez to desperately inject a new tangy and intoxicating bit of favor to the DH position without the bitter aftertaste of the Burrell DH era. In short, it is Ramirez playing for a possible 2012 audition as a AL DH.

I really feel deeply that Damon and Ramirez aka Dam-Manny come as a unique flavor profile package, not unlike the mentioned peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Heck, the idea that the Rays lost out on signing Andrew Jones is muted instantly by the basic premise of the BOGO (Buy One, Get One Free) situation where the Rays produced a “win-win” situation by getting two prolific scorers for one low price. That kind of grocery savvy reminds me totally of the Rays favorite grocery chain (Sweetbay).

When in your wildest notions would you have ever expected to see these two players EVER in the Rays Carolina blue jerseys. But coming within a month, when they report to Port Charlotte, Florida for Spring Training,. Waiting for them will be a young team with a hearty appetite for winning, and a want to succeed.

Most people expected me to possibly throw this deal under a microscope and find fault, blame or even a dab of sarcasm at the expense of the new duo, But this deals makes me extremely hungry for a pure fact that it feels like the perfect sandwich. Together both Damon and Ramirez give the Rays a two headed approach at American League hitting this season, where if they had signed Jones, it would have been one flavor all season long.

With the addition of these two talents, we will definitely see either Damon or Ramirez at times camped out in the Rays outfield with the NEW AstroTurf II under their tootsies hopefully performing amazing plays. The addition of the two hitters also give the wheeling and dealing line-up machine of Rays Manager Joe Maddon two more weapons in his daily arsenal to take down the Red Sox and Yankees from their predestined podiums.

Damon and Ramirez fit together like peanut butter and jelly. Together they can make a tasty treat that will make you smile and get you excited. But apart, they become two different taste platforms that do not go well on their own merits. I am still feeling a bit hungry, and I think it is time for me to venture into the kitchen for a hearty snack. Maybe I will conjure up a special D&M sandwich, better known to people outside Tampa Bay as a PB&J…..

 

 

 

12 Comments

I like the Damon signing, but am not sold on Manny. He may turn out to be a spoiled Ham sandwich when the season is over. I hate being negative, but Manny will have to prove me wrong.

Ron

http://strictlycubsbaseball.mlblogs.com/

Ren…
I am right there with you… and have been since the first rumors. http://baseball4girls2.blogspot.com/search/label/Damon

In addition to all you wrote, Manny apparently works hard at being a great hitter, which could be an influence as well.

I had picked Jaso or Upton as lead-off hitter, with Damon batting second. My thought was that either of those two youngsters would be faster on the bases, while Damon could more be counted on for a hit in the clutch. If Damon leads off, wouldn’t he be more easily picked off?

Now I’ll have to get some spring training tix & make the drive.
Renee

Ron,
Guess I am showing my optimism too much again. But why be pessimistic with a player who we are counting on to make a substancial improvement to our squad.
Sure I can bring up the possible distraction and damage caused by having some types of players in our clubhouse, but this team has focus, a drive and a great ability to adapt itself to the task at hand.
It all starts at the top. If Maddon can keepthis team heading North, then why sweat the stuff that could derail the push and a sudden fall to Earth?

Rays Renegade
http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Well at least the Rays haven’t lost that swagger! Very impressive moves on the cheap. Considering how inexpensive these moves are, I can’t see how it’s anything but positive.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/
http://mtrredstatebluestate.com

Damon was one of the ones I expected during the offseason. He brings an interesting personality into the clubhouse and he brings veteran leadership and even a solid bat.

I was surprised when we got Manny though. I’ve never really liked him, however, it’s more of the fact at the price we got him. 2 million is a steal.

Together, I think they make a great deal. We got both of them for cheaper than we got Burrell, and if Manny ends up being a bust or he quits on the team, they can cut their losses no problem. However, if he produces and can be the driving force people know he can be, Longo should benefit greatly from it.

Cliff,
After having chicken soup for lunch (I got a cold) and reading your post I was like “mmmm, peanut butter and jelly..” I am craving it now. I think Manny will be great. Based on what I saw here in LA, he is a hard worker. He got to the stadium very early to workout. He was great with the fans and his teammates. I wish him only the best and as you know, I have a soft spot for the Rays.
Emma
http://crzblue.mlblogs.ocm

RaysnYanks,
I have heard in the past about Manny’s work ethic, but as an opponent (before), I never really dug deep to see if the rumor was true.
But a friend up in the NorthEast tells me Manny is very pro-team, and his little games or sideshow is ususally confined to a small corner of the clubhouse.
All in all, he performs like a professional, which will go far in Ray Manager Joe Maddon book.
I actually like Jaso as a lead-off guy, but I have a feeling Maddon might hide him more in the 9 spot in 2011.

Rays Renegade
http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Jeff,
The swaggwe just got a bit more defined. I was worried in December we might be setting ourselves up for a free fall, but a few seals worked our way and we now have a more solid team that previously imagined.
Might not win the division, but we sure can mess things up for a few other teams/

Rays Renegade
http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Charm,
I think all of us in the Rays Republic kind of saw a Damon signing, but we also know that sometimes people steals the guys we want so we can not get them back….
Manny at $2 mill. is a great deal as protection for Longo.
Even if he is the “Dodgers” Manny, he will produce more than the DH position last season ( besides Matt Joyce HRs).

Rays Renegade
http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Emma,
Possibly the PB&J will take your cold out in a TKO.
It has protein (PB) and Vitamin C (fruit jelly) to combat that nasty case of the sniffles.
Hope you feel better soon.
I also heard that Manny has been working out like a fiend this off season, and is anxious to get the 2011 party started.
I know B J Upton is anxious to sit in the dugout with him and talk about the game. You can say all you want about Manny, but the guy seems to have the game dialed in most seasons, and that is HOF material.

Rays Renegade
http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

The Rays are going to have some serious POP in their lineup… Not so sure about Manny’s health and productivity though..

There’s Always Next Year

Andrew Friedman is cementing his mark as one of the most creative and deep sea diving for talent head honchos in the MLB.
Ever since his Pat Burrell fiasco, Friedman has been on a streak of getting the talent for the right price and seeking out the guys who need exposure to get them back on track in their careers.
I wonder who is next?

Rays Renegade
http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

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