Funny, isn't it? Dodger blue must make people do strange things. In the case of newest outfielder, Manny Ramirez, Dodger blue has made him turn singles into doubles, run out infield ground outs, and leave his cell phone inside the clubhouse. These were all things that the embattled future Hall of Famer hasn't done for five or six years while back in Boston, but now, Manny is a respectable teammate who just wants to be "one of the guys." NEWSFLASH MANNY, that ship has sailed.
Sox first baseman, Kevin Youkilis, annoyed you with his post at-bat reactions due to his frusterations at the plate. Red Sox traveling secretary, Jack McCormick, wasn't able to do what poor, hard-working, Manny Ramirez wanted him to do. Then, to top it all off, management was not being "nice" to Mr. Ramirez. Your right Manny, everyone was intentionally painting you as the bad guy.
GET A GRIP! The only one who has sullied the reputation of THE premier right handed hitter of this generation is YOU! Not Theo Epstein, John Henry, or anyone else you'd like to pass blame onto. In this town, we don't give most athletes the rope we gave Manny, and in this town, we never should again.
8 for 13, 2 Homeruns, and 5 RBI's, these are Ramirez' numbers in his first series with the L.A. Dodgers. As a fan of the Red Sox, I know what Ramirez can do at the plate and those numbers don't surprise me one bit. What surprises me is the complete 360 degree attitude shift that Manny has demonstrated over the weekend. For the past two months, Manny has shoved teammate and fellow All-Star Kevin Youkilis, been involved in a physical altercation with traveling secretary Jack McCormick, and made it known that he was sitting out games not because of injury but to "make a stand" against management. This past weekend, in his first series as a Dodger, Manny wasn't pushing Russell Martin, causing Joe Torre and Ned Colletti to lose their hair, and making fans disgusted at what they see on the field. Like I said before, funny what Dodger blue must do to someone?
Before I completely erase Ramirez from my mind I'd like to correct him on a couple things that really bothered me: (if you haven't thought I was bothered already)
Nomar Garciaparra was moved mid-season 2004 because GM Theo Epstein saw potential in this team, not as a playoff team but as a CHAMPIONSHIP contender. Garciaparra would get a standing ovation in this town tommorow if he got up to bat, and for the next twenty years. You wouldn't be able to call yourself a World Series MVP had Epstein not been bold enough to deal Nomar for the likes of Orlando Cabrera and Doug Miencatykwicz ( I could never spell his name ) Before you spout off about how Nomar was treated in this town by this management, due your homework.
Pedro Martinez wasn't resigned by this management team because he was Pedro circa 2005, not Pedro circa 1999. Martinez would wear his Mets jersey into the Fens and get cheered like he was still on the home club to this day and for the next twenty years. Your friend Pedro wasn't "mis-treated" he just didn't get what he wanted, kind of like you. I have no ill-will toward Pedro, he got his money which is what he ultimately wanted and I can't hate on someone for that. Manny, you know what Pedro never did in all his years in Boston? He never crossed those white lines and didn't pitch his a** off. Despite his pending free-agency, Pedro never walked onto that field in front of those legions of fans and gave half of what he had, and never would. It's called respect Manny, have some.
Finally, I would like you to explain to my 10-year old brother and the thousands of children who admire your skill, as to why your playing baseball in Chavez Ravine and not in Fenway Park. I don't expect you to do that. I don't expect you to tell them that you don't care that they paid good money to watch you play hard and you dogged it. I don't expect you to apologize to those fans for the past two months. I don't even think you care about what those fans think, you don't respect us enough to run out a groundball in the middle of a no-hitter. We watched you, watch three straight strikes go by you because you were upset with the front office. Those kids stayed up late to watch you do that?
To be frank, I'm embarrassed that I considered you one of my favorite ballplayers of all-time. I'm embarrassed that I cheered for you like I cheered for the ultimate gamers, Curt Schilling and Pedro Martinez, the Ironman Cal Ripken Jr., and Nomar Garciaparra, a man I still cheer for to this day.
The most popular used phrase surrounding Ramirez was "Manny being Manny," the truth is "Manny being Manny" is just an excuse for poor sportsmanship, spoiled athlete, and run of the mill PAIN IN THE A**. I'm glad that Manny is playing for the Dodgers, I'm glad that he has become Joe Torre's problem, and I'm glad that Terry Francona can fill out a lineup card without having to wonder if Ramirez will take a few cuts in the ninth inning.