August 24, 2006

Manny As Blank Canvas

David Heuschkel wrote in his Courant notebook:
David Wells did a double take [on Wednesday] upon seeing Manny Ramirez walk across the clubhouse without the slightest hint that he was favoring his leg. Francona has done a good job covering for Ramirez in his two-plus seasons as Red Sox manager. He doesn't publicly question whether Manny's knee or hamstring is sore because he would run the risk of losing the temperamental left fielder for more than a day or two.
So what happened? The two Davids happened to exchange a look across the clubhouse? Wells isn't quoted, so is that all? ... And why would Francona publicly question Manny's health? Can anyone in the public give him an informative answer? I'm content if Tito confines his medical questions to the Red Sox medical staff.

And despite the news of Manny going for an MRI, Heuschkel writes of the Sox: "[O]ne can only wonder whether [Manny] has finally quit on them. Does he even know how close the team is in danger of falling out of playoff contention?"

I must have missed the article in which Heuschkel wondered if Varitek, Wakefield and Nixon had finally quit on the team when they went on the disabled list. How do we know that those guys are really hurt?

Over at the Herald, Tony Massarotti takes the opposite view.
He is human, despite our perception of him, and so you cannot help but wonder: How many times is Manny Ramirez left shaking his head? How many runs must he knock in and how many home runs must he hit before we start to see Ramirez as a man who is needlessly banging his head against the wall?
Mazz admits that from time to time, "Ramirez has had issues with responsibility", but adds that he leads the team in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, and is on pace to play in a career-high 157 games.
And despite it all, he knows it might all be for naught, that the Sox didn't care enough this year to give him and the other players the necessary elements to win another World Series.

So we ask you: Who's really dogging it here?
He also addresses the scorer's decision flap:
Let us make something indisputably clear here. Not a week goes by without someone griping about a scoring decision. Baseball players are human, right down to every last flaw, and you can bet your sanitary socks that every one of them knows his batting average or ERA. Some are just better at disguising it. At one point or another, most every player has lobbied for a scoring change, though teammates, coaches and managers are far more apt to run interference for those who have a reputation to protect.

But when Manny does it, he's a selfish twit. And so we find out about it.
It's quite nice to see Massarotti take a look at the situation from a different viewpoint. You may not agree with all of it, or any of it, but multiple perspectives can only help the discussion.


Gutch220 said...

are Manny Ramirez and Terrell Owens in cahoots? (sp?). It seems like they are both doing the same thing.

Jim said...

Agree that multiple perspectives can only help the discussion, but I'm not sure how much discussion is actually going on. Manny seems to be one of those polarizing, hot-button issues where people are either 'fer im' or 'agin im'. People only listen to those who agree with their already formed opinion and ignore those who disagree. The issue is obviously complicated because Manny ain't talking and the Boston media is viewed with such distrust that every report is received with suspicion.
Personally, I can't believe it's as simple as him going ballistic over a scorer's decision. I think his leg/knee was bothing him on Monday, and after the 2nd walk, a thorougly beat-up Manny probably told Tito that look, these pricks aren't gonna pitch to me anyway.
One thing is beyond debate, though. The lineup that has degenerated into a 2-man crew since the ASB is now just one. Good luck, Papi.

laura k said...

are Manny Ramirez and Terrell Owens in cahoots? (sp?). It seems like they are both doing the same thing.

What, is Terrell Owens the best, most consistent offensive player in the game?