Jon Greenberg Blog: Manny Ramirez

Manny Ramirez hiring brings a little fun

May, 26, 2014
May 26
11:20
AM CT
Greenberg By Jon Greenberg
ESPNChicago.com
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Manny Ramirez Jim Davis/Getty ImagesManny Ramirez' experience could help the Cubs' young hitters.
Here's a lesson for all you kids out there: If you want to be a successful baseball executive, you need to master three things.

One, you must be able to pull off the Ray Bans, tucked-in collared shirt, khaki pants combination. Two, you must be able to cultivate relationships among disparate groups of people. Three, you must be able to come up with creative solutions to the problems, both organic and man-made, that surround any baseball organization.

You need to be like Theo Epstein.

In Epstein’s latest move aimed at strengthening the Cubs’ minor league system, he hired Manny Ramirez to serve as Triple-A Iowa’s “Crash Davis,” a player/coach/sage for Javier Baez and other prospects possibly coming up the ladder.

Epstein said this was not a “PR move," though maybe film producer Joe Ricketts wants to do a remake of "Bull Durham."

Vilified by some, this was a quirky move that typified Epstein’s creative approach and his old-fashioned dependence on baseball relationships.

It was an odd, newsworthy decision, only because no one expected it. It wasn't leaked to national writers. Baseball Prospectus couldn’t predict it.

I love it. Do I think it’ll have some grand effect on the development of Baez or the host of other prospects in the Cubs’ system? Probably not. Will it make anyone worse? Probably not.

But the decision, spurred on by Ramirez, is certainly outside the norm and it’s fun to talk about. Given the Cubs’ reluctance to field a Major League club worth discussing -- That’s so expensive! -- the minor leagues are all we have to obsess over.

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