After being beaten by the Yankees five times this weekend, there is plenty of blame to go around. But one person who shouldn't get even one finger pointed at him is Manny Ramirez.
In the series, Manny went 8-for-11 (.727), with 4 singles, 2 doubles, 2 home runs, 7 RBI, and 9 walks. He reached base in 19 of his 20 plate appearances (2 of those were on errors). His OPS was 2.305! He also made a few nice plays in the outfield. ... Manny raised his batting average 10 points in the series --to .330. In August, Ramirez is hitting: .412/.529/.691.
One more time: He reached base in 19 of his 20 plate appearances.
So who gets the most shit when Sean McAdam of the Providence Journal sits down to write his post-mortem? (my emphasis)
On Friday night, in the fifth inning of the disastrous day-nighter that would set the tone for the Lost Weekend, official scorer Joe Giuliotti determined that Manny Ramirez had reached on an error by Derek Jeter. Jeter had gone into the shortstop hole to backhand a hard grounder, only to have the ball glance off his glove and roll into shallow left.Actually, Sean, it is too much of a leap, because you have presented zero evidence that this was the case. Zee-row. Based on what you've written for us, you've made this up out of whole cloth, pulled it straight out of your ass. It reminds me of how TV commentators are always telling us what Player X is saying to Player Y in the dugout or on the mound. It's all made up -- purely the invention of the person telling the story.
On the play, teammate Mark Loretta, running from second base, was thrown out at home by Yankees left fielder Melky Cabrera.
Ramirez was enraged by the call, and was so angry about it the next day that he had to be talked into playing the Saturday afternoon game. On Sunday, Ramirez sought out an MLB official to try to get the call reversed.
Think about that: In the middle of the Sox' three most dispiriting losses of the season, suffered at the hands of the team's archrival, Ramirez sulked about losing credit for a meaningless single that didn't even involve an RBI.
That's perspective for you. ...
But with his team's season in the balance, Ramirez intended to sit out to protest a scorer's call? Would Jeter do that? Would David Ortiz? Would, in fact, any other player in the game?
It's not much of a leap to think that Ramirez's early exit from yesterday's game -- he pulled himself out of the lineup after the fourth inning, telling trainers he was suffering cramps in the right hamstring -- was connected to the events of the previous two days.
One player yesterday noted that while Ramirez had played hard for much of the season, the events of the last few days seemed to hint at an upcoming "episode" involving Ramirez, in which the slugger takes a decidedly indifferent approach to his play -- if he appears in the lineup at all.
If you saw something, tell us. If you heard something, tell us. I understand that writers need sources that wish to remain anonymous, but with speculation this wild, McAdam should either get something on the record or shut up.
McAdam gets even sillier when he writes this about David Wells:
Finally, there was the eighth inning yesterday, when NESN cameras caught starter David Wells throwing up his hands, then shaking his head in disgust on his way down the dugout runway after catcher Javy Lopez failed to block a pitch from Keith Foulke in the dirt, enabling Nick Green to score from third. ... Green's run proved to be the difference in the game.I saw the same shot of Wells. Disgusted? Of course, he was disgusted. I'd be worried about any Red Sox player -- including Lopez himself-- who wasn't disgusted at that point.
Angry, pissed off, disgusted, frustrated ... every player on the team should feel all of those emotions. They just got their ass kicked every which way a team can get its ass kicked. By its main rivals and the one team ahead of it in the standings.
Imagine a player was laughing in the dugout. You know damn well they'd be getting ripped by every knight of the keyboard (including McAdam) for yukking it up as the season went down the tubes. (Actually, Manny has been criticized for stuff like this, smiling after making an out. I guess he's got to throw his helmet or smash a water cooler to show he cares.)
So for showing the proper response to this weekend's events, McAdam decides to chronicle what he calls "the team's descent into selfishness". And the person he decides to call out the loudest is the guy who deserves none of the blame -- the guy who reached base 19 out of 20 plate appearances, batted .727 and slugged 1.455.
There are plenty of reasons why playing for the Red Sox would be attractive, but it's days like this that I'm amazed that any athlete in his right mind would want to come to Boston (for any amount of money) and deal with this kind of crap on a daily basis.