Manny retires: The 'Jennings Watch' begins 

April, 8, 2011
4/08/11
5:28
PM ET
Fantasy owners can pretend the news of Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Manny Ramirez announcing his retirement Friday isn't a big deal, but Ramirez was a 17th-round selection in ESPN standard live drafts, and until a few days ago, he was owned in 100 percent of standard leagues.

Even as of the announcement, Ramirez remains owned in more than 90 percent of leagues, despite a .059 batting average through one messy week. His impending 100-game suspension from Major League Baseball reportedly played a part in his decision, likely more so than his slow start, but I don't see a Brett Favre waffle-job in the works here. Goodbye, Manny, thanks for being one of the top-10 offensive players in fantasy baseball the past 15 or so seasons.

This decision obviously creates opportunity for someone on the Rays, a winless team that was hitting a mere .145 with eight runs scored in six games entering play Friday, and I just don't think that person is first baseman Casey Kotchman. Four starting Rays hitters had accumulated only one hit so far: Ramirez, Matt Joyce, Dan Johnson and Johnny Damon. Rays manager Joe Maddon would probably like to bench them all, but he just doesn't have the depth, not when Felipe Lopez and Elliot Johnson are your bench. Having your best hitter (Evan Longoria) hit the disabled list after two games and your cleanup hitter retire after a week is a major problem.

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