Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Manny Being Manny: That's All I Can Stand I Can't Stands No More Edition
2008-07-26 08:45
by Alex Belth

Manny being Manny is cute until it's not. It's charming and refreshing when Boston's future Hall of Fame left fielder is putting up Hall of Fame number. Doesn't matter that he's a pain in the ass for the Red Sox to deal with. When he's hitting, high-fiving a fan, taking a leak inside the Green Monster, Manny is being colorful, fun. Ramirez has angered management, his teammates and even the fans at different points during his stay in Boston by not running out ground balls, coming up lame with dubious injuries, and acting like a spoiled child. He has also been the anchor--or co-anchor along with Ortiz--of their two World Championship teams. And when he's doing his thing, he's just a flake, irrepressible, lovable.

Ramirez has pushed the Sox to the brink in the past--they once placed him on waivers--but now, as Dan Shaughnessy suggests in the Boston Globe, the Sox may have finally had it with Manny being Manny:

Ramírez sealed his fate with the club yesterday afternoon. After longtime enabler Terry Francona filled out a lineup card with Manny batting fourth, the Sox made an announcement that Manny could not play in the biggest game of the season. Seems there were problems with his right knee. Manny was a late scratch.

It was extraordinary. In the past, management and the manager would do handstands to excuse Manny's strange acts. No more. This time, the manager - apparently confident there's nothing wrong with the slugger - put Manny's name in the lineup, then sat and waited for Manny to pull himself out of the lineup. Manny complied. Never concerned with wins or losses, Manny told Brad Mills he was unable to play and took himself out of the batting order for the (thus far) biggest game of the season.

It was predictable. It was ridiculous. It was the last straw.

Former state treasurer Bob Crane happened by the EMC Club, pregame, and spoke for many fans when he said, "Manny's got to go. Enough's enough. Fans are finally sick of this guy."

The possibility exists that Manny truly has a sore right knee. No one can get inside the head of an athlete and evaluate game-readiness. If Manny's knee is killing him, there is no way for us to know, and we are wildly unfair to question his condition. I'm willing to take that chance. I don't believe him.

Could this really be the end of Manny in Boston? Cue: organ cliff hanger music.

One thing for is for sure, this is one soap opera that has nothing to do with the Yankees. I figure Manny will return this weekend and get some big hits. Then again, he might not. I won't be surprised either way. Which is what Manny Being Manny is all about. Anything goes.

2008-07-26 09:10:34
1.   Zack
This isn't exactly new, Manny does this every year. And of course Shaughnessy is a notorious Negative Nancy. Sure, it might mean the end. But on the other hand, the Sox would be crazy not to pick up his option. Manny being Manny no matter his actions hasen't exactly hurt the Sox over the years of the contract. Each year he pulls the injury stuff, and each year the fans and management gnash their teeth and rend their hair and garments over it. And yet each year for the most part Manny has done nothing but produce and help them far more than hurt them.

Last night's lineup is proof positive of Manny's impact. Youkilis hitting behind Ortiz is a heck of a lot less scary than Manny.

2008-07-26 09:20:00
2.   QueenV
The Red Sox always act like they're tired of his act... but they end up keeping him anyway. In the past, he's demanded to be traded, supposedly faked injuries, not hustled, etc. Just as long as he's putting up the big numbers, they're not gonna move him.

I was wondering the other day what the Yankees would have been like if they had signed Manny in 2000 instead of Mike Mussina. Scary thought!

2008-07-26 09:28:21
3.   RIYank
Zack, Youkalis really isn't less scary than Manny this year. His OPS+ is 140; Manny's is 143. And Youk is very likely to play more next year than Manny, so frankly he's a more valuable player. I'm talking about now, of course; Manny is a 1st ballot HoFer.

WEEI talk is 100% Manny this morning (uh, afternoon now). And the Manny defenders have disappeared. It used to be about 50-50. So I think Shaughnessy is right, even though he's a negative Nancy.

2008-07-26 09:33:48
4.   RIYank
According to the Providence Journal, after the MRI results returned the team said that Manny would "face disciplinary action" if he does not play today.

Interesting. So might we expect him to watch a whole bunch of Pettitte strikes fly by?

2008-07-26 09:36:22
5.   Jeb
If any other player pushes an old man like Manny did, he'd get released. I agree that the Sux will continue to kiss manny's ass because of his production. Personally, I hope Manny bitch-slaps Theo and John Henry; maybe that will get their attention. He obviously wants to be released for next year for some bizarre reason.

It's a fun train wreck anyway. I'm enjoying it.

2008-07-26 09:43:41
6.   RIYank
5 Not a bizarre reason. He wants to get a long term deal, and he wants it now.

He'll get it, too. Not at $20M per year, but he'll get crazy money for four years, I bet you anything.

2008-07-26 09:46:55
7.   Zack
3 Production wise, at the moment, yes Youk is near Manny's level. But I also don't think Youkilis is that good. Not only is he generally a significantly worse hitter in the 2nd half, but there is also just no comparison between him and Manny. Manny was born to hit and drive in runs, and the Sox lineup is simply inferior with him gone, severely so.
2008-07-26 09:56:55
8.   RIYank
7 No doubt about it, Zack. Manny will replace not Youkalis but Crisp or Ellsbury. And neither of those guys is much of a hitter. So the line-up will be much, much better with him in it.
Also, Youk is having a career year. Not surprising because he's in his prime, but he'll come back down, I agree. All I was saying is that having Youk hit behind Ortiz yesterday wasn't very different from having Manny hit behind him.
2008-07-26 10:20:47
9.   uburoisc
During the last series with the Angels, as the Sox were losing, a shallow bloop went out to Manny in left, Manny went for it, missed it by quite a bit, rolled on the ground, got up rolled around some more, and eventually could not find the ball because he was laying on it as he fished around under himself to find it. The whole scene was ridiculous and I couldn't bring myself to believe that he was really that inept; it looked like Chris Farley was out there. He got up, threw the ball weakly to the infield, laughing.

This came after the rumours that Manny was letting strikes go by to piss off Theo and Co. Well, when the camera panned over to Theo as Manny was rolled around in the outfield, the look on his face was unmistakable: he was visibly furious, like a man who was being publicly humiliated.

No question Manny makes the Sox a better team, whatever his antics, but at what point will the pride of wealthy men, who are not comfortable being laughed at, say enough?

2008-07-26 10:31:32
10.   RIYank
Manny's in the line-up.

As of now, anyway.

2008-07-26 11:09:21
11.   monkeypants
5 What makes you think that Manny doesn't bitch slap Theo...and that Theo doesn't like it?

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