March 3, 2007

A Real Look At Manny

One recent thread at SoSH concerns the media and the frustration many fans feel when they find more attention paid to Manny's hair colour than the actual baseball news down in Fort Myers.

Reading Michael Silverman's article on Ramirez in Friday's Herald left me with the impression that he'd been reading the thread. His behind-the-scenes look at Ramirez and his routines was a welcome breath of fresh air, the type of writing we should be getting all the time, but sadly, do not.

Ramirez permanently wears blinders, shielding himself from the rest of the world. He has decided that explaining himself or his methods is pretty much a waste of time and energy - resources he'd rather devote to getting better. ...

While Ramirez gives the impression that he could wake up in his sleep and hit, his teammates have seen - if they get up early enough - the obsessed side of Ramirez that flies in the face of his goofy, la-dee-da demeanor.
Silverman quotes Paul Lessard, the Red Sox's head athletic trainer:
He may look a little eccentric, but he's an animal. He gets after it - he's got a full lather going in those workouts. It's not just to get the blood flowing.
and Dave Page, the strength and conditioning coach:
I've been in baseball for nine years in the major leagues, and by far, Manny is the most consistent and most intense workout guy I've ever had. I think he enjoys it. He comes in in the morning, lifts and works out, goes home for some lunch and a nap, and then he's back here, running with the pitchers every day and then batting practice. I know he doesn't like to miss a day. If there's a late game and we have a morning game the next day, he still has to do something. It's as much of a mental thing for him than it is physical. He's very loyal to his routine.
And then Silverman reveals a little bit about that routine.

Julian Tavarez:
People are good at hiding things, to keep it inside, but I know that deep in his heart, he wants to be one of the greatest players in the game. ... He cares, he just is not going to show it to you.
Gordon Edes's Globe latest mailbag was devoted to the relationship between Manny and the media.

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