Why won't the media tell us more of what they know? What are they afraid of? That Manny won't talk to them anymore? (Pissing off the team sources can't be that much of a factor, considering the other things they write.)
This story -- and the team's overall dismal play -- is a dream come true for guys like Dan Shaughnessy. This morning, the CHB is in heaven:
It's always a story when Manny takes a day or two to rest his hammy. During Ramirez's spectacular six-year stint with the Red Sox, he annually misses a few games with a sore hamstring. It works every time, because when it comes to tweaked hamstrings, only the patient truly knows how he's feeling. It's the athlete's equivalent of the fourth grade boy who won't go to school because he has a headache. There are no grounds for a challenge even if you have suspicions.It's always a story because you make it a story. Many Red Sox players take a day off -- they are usually the more eumelanin-challenged guys -- and no one says a peep.
Name-calling shitstirrers like Dan give fans the impression that Manny begs out of games right and left every season. But like so much of the crap that gets tossed about by the media, it is not true (and easily verified as a lie).
Games Played by Manny:
2005 - 152 of 162 games - Only Ortiz (158) and Renteria (153) played more
2004 - 152 of 162 games - Led team in games played
2003 - 154 of 162 games - Only Nomar (156) played more
2002 - 120 of 162 games - Missed 39 games due to broken finger*
2001 - 142 of 162 games - Only Nixon (148) played more
* - If Manny had not broken his finger and played in 36 of those 39 games, he would have finished at 156, tied for the team lead with Nomar and Hillenbrand.
No matter how many sentences get written claiming the opposite, it is anindisputablee fact: During his Red Sox career, Manny Ramirez has played more games per season than almost any other teammate.
Manny hasn't had much to say this year, but this seemed like a time to give it a shot, so I strolled over to him as he inspected a crate of bats, and I asked him if he'd answer a few questions.Ha! The only way Manny could have said "F U" any better would have been to ruffle Bozo's curly hair rather than pat him on the shoulder.
He said nothing. In fact, for a moment I thought I'd willed myself invisible like Wade Boggs. I felt a little like Patrick Swayze standing over Demi Moore in "Ghost." I hadn't experienced this kind of abject diss since trying to talk to Albert Belle back in the 1990s. After a few seconds, during which Manny continued to inspect the lumber and ignore me, he turned, smiled slightly, put his hand on my right shoulder and walked away.
What's funny is that Manny apparently was chatting quite freely with the Angels broadcasters before last night's game. Yet he avoids the Boston media like the plague. Isn't that odd.
Dan winds things up by dismissing those people who disagree with his assessment of Manny as "fanboys and sycophants" and writes:
Meanwhile, we wait until Manny is ready. And, as always, we wonder if he cares.I was going to post some of Manny's fantastic numbers from this season -- he should be getting as much MVP talk as Ortiz, probably more -- but it's not worth it.
I'm asking any Boston sportswriters who might be reading:
Why don't you mention every player who merely jogs to first on a ground ball (it happens several times every night)? Or screws up on the bases? Or makes stupid plays in the field? Why does Manny get singled out? Is it because he doesn't talk to you? Is it because he agreed to play for a lot of money? Why?The various patterns of who gets criticized (and for how long) and how those players are described in print leads me to believe it's race-related, not a shocking conclusion in Boston, and I've yet to hear an explanation that makes more sense.