By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Let Manny be Manny — somewhere else

When Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy insinuates, on the basis of no evidence, that Manny Ramírez is lying about being hurt, then Shaughnessy deserves what he gets.

But when the Globe’s Gordon Edes writes a balanced, tough piece on Ramírez’s refusal to play hurt even as his teammates are going out there with more serious injuries, that’s another matter altogether.

Maybe it really is time for Manny to go.

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  1. B

    Except Gordon doesn’t have a single quote in the entire column. What’s real and what is he making up?

  2. mike_b1

    Edes answered some of his own questions. Manny is not a free agent. But most of those players he cites as playing in pain is: Loretta, Nixon, Gonzalez. They have to play: the have to prove they can in order to land their next contracts.Edes also ignores extensive reporting by Will Carroll, perhaps the leading sports journalist on health-realted matters, who has repeatedly reported that Ramirez is suffering from a small tear in the medial meniscus of his right knee, a bone-on-bone situation that is unpredictable and painful.Ramirez has played in 3 World Series (and was MVP of one) and 8 playoff teams. To suggest Manny is not a winner is silly, bordering on bizarre. I like Gordon Edes. He is typically fair and it is unusual for him to level such strong criticism. For that reason I have to ask, on whose behalf did he write this? Manny’s? The team’s? Management’s? The fans?

  3. Dan Kennedy

    B — Is this what we’ve come to? If a respected journalist like Edes doesn’t use direct, on-the-record quotes he must be making it up? Good grief.Mike’s questions are much more on target, but I do think there’s a difference between being a “winner” and being willing to play hurt. When Manny’s healthy, he’s a winner.

  4. mike_b1

    As has been noted before, in 2003-05 Manny missed 10, 10, and 8 games. He played more than anyone on the team.Also, that is Manny you see jumping up and down after walkoff winners (a al the Carlos Pena HR) and on the field congratulating his teammates after every other win. That doesn’t strike me as an indicator of someone who doesn’t care.

  5. ballfan

    What’s wrong with speculating about a player with a reputation for dogging it on the field? If he ran out every ground ball, maybe he’d get the benefit of the doubt, but he doesn’t, so he won’t. Dop you really think Shaughnessy deserves the things found on that sandbox?

  6. Liam

    It’s funny.When I read that column, I immediately thought of what you had written previously.I thought Edes nailed it. Gutsy column, and I am so glad they played it above the Ryder Cup.

  7. mike_b1

    ballfan: Who runs out every ball? No one. Manny’s reputation is much the result of his talent and the apparent ease with which he does things, and the color of his skin. This is an age old phenomenon. Richie Allen, Reggie Jackson, Roberto Clemente, Manny Ramirez. They all dogged it. Sure, let him run into at top speed into the wall and crack his head open like JD Drew. That’s smart baseball. Meanwhile, guys like Trot Nixon don’t run out groundballs and throw the ball into the stands with only two outs in the inning but they are gamers. And white.

  8. Anonymous

    “the color of his skin”? Here we go again. If I want to hear whining, I’ll take the kids to a mall.

  9. whispers

    The real question here is why Edes and Shaughnessy feel that it’s important for them to do hatchet jobs on the best hitter that the Red Sox have. Isn’t this just another step down the sorry path of hack journalism that characterized their history?The story here seems really simply. Manny Ramirez decided he was being misquoted (right or wrong) and that he would stop talking to the media, and in particular to Edes and Shaughnessy, who have a history of attacking Red Sox players they dislike. And it’s true that some of the players don’t exactly help the situation. But they are in Boston to play baseball. And when they do that well, it should be recognized.Edes follows a dubious line of logic. He cites evidence that Manny tried to play hurt and went 2 for 22 in eight games. Bizarrely, Edes interprets this as evidence the Manny wasn’t trying hard. The far simpler explanation would be that Manny is too hurt to play well. Edes complete lack of interest in this possibility displays his own anti-Manny bias. The fact remains that neither Edes nor his “curly haired boyfriend” (to borrow a phrase coined by Carl Everett) has any clue what Manny Ramirez’ physical condition actually is. Given that, the article you cite is nothing more than a hatchet job.All of this argument is based on a misguided overvaluation of “playing hurt”. Citing the example of Kirk Gibson in the World Series misses the point entirely. In case Mr. Edes has not noticed, the Sox are not in the World Series. Nor are they even in the penant race any more. Playing hurt in meaningless games is not in the best interests of the ball club. A real Red Sox fan wants Manny hitting next season at full health, producing another season like the previous five. Apparently, few things threaten sports writers more than when a star player decides that the writers are irrelevant. So what we see here is the revenge of the and CHB. There’s no value to their opinions at all.I remember ten years ago when Mo Vaughn was driven out of town by a similar Globe-driven smear job. Though it has to be said the Angels paid to much for him, we’ll never know how well Vaughn would have played if he had stayed in Boston. Perhaps if he hadn’t developed hostility to the press he would have stayed in a better frame of mind and worked out harder and had a few more productive years. I also remember the succeeding years when we had to put up with inanity like the GM touting Jose Offerman as a partial replacement for Vaughn. Let’s keep in mind that people like Shaughnessy get more attention on themselves when things go poorly for the Red Sox. Being a “player hater” is what he does best.

  10. Wes

    Not in a million years will I think Manny “dogged” it.

  11. Aaron Read

    First, a disclaimer. I grew up EAST of the Connecticut River, and therefore I’ve been a member of Red Sox Nation (probably since long before the term existed). And equally therefore, I hate the Yankees. Okay, that said, is a comparison on how MANNY gets vilified in the press to how ALEX RODRIGUEZ has gotten vilified in the press this season?Methinks there might be…both are natural targets given their gigantic salaries (the largest on each team, right?).

  12. Anonymous

    50 years from now, this generation of Boston sportswriters will look like as much of a pack of clowns for their treatment of Manny as the ones who got on Ted Williams’ case look now.Of course, what distinguishes the current crop of Boston sportswriters is how certain types of players get smeared, and certain types get free passes. And no, it isn’t a pigment of your imagination.

  13. whispers

    From today’s Globe“The sizable number of Red Sox fans in the crowd of 42,267 accorded Ramírez a standing ovation when he came out to pinch hit.”Manny it’s time for Edes to go instead.

  14. Anonymous

    Whispers has it exactly right. Refuse to play along with these guys, especially CHB, and they trash you. Remember how they trashed Nomar on his way out of town – he was “disgruntled” and giving up on his teammates based on where he sat in the dugout, etc.Utter crap. The Red Sox never saw a better team player than Nomar.And yeah, Mike, Nomar’s generally considered white. Same with Ted and Roger. So it looks like race isn’t necessarily the determining factor.

  15. Stealth

    There’s something inherently wrong when David Ortiz gets universal love while Manny, who outhits him every year (though in an admittedly less flashy fashion) and plays the field can’t get a break.Or maybe Manny caught on that we all know he fakes hamstring injuries and decided to get patellar tendinitis in his knee instead.

  16. Dan Kennedy

    Well, you’re also talking about the difference between a very good clutch hitter and the greatest we’ve ever seen.

  17. Anonymous

    That’s the point – Ortiz plays along. Manny doesn’t. Ortiz = good guy, Manny = bad guy.

  18. Don

    Isn’t the season over?

  19. Stealth

    Well, you’re also talking about the difference between a very good clutch hitter and the greatest we’ve ever seen.Actually, Manny’s not even much of a clutch hitter, if you define it in such a way as to make Ortiz a great one. Manny does hit extremely well with RISP, but it’s not the same thing.But Manny would be hitting some of these walkoffs if he hit in front of Ortiz, instead of behind him. He’s the reason teams pitch to Ortiz.

  20. Wilson Tisdale

    Dan, what’s missing from Edes’ piece? Here’s a hint: It is the same thing missing from just about every piece in which the Globe has been management’s megaphone while trying to run Manny out of town for years.Still don’t get it? Here’s what missing: “The Globe attempted to talk to Ramirez,” or “The Globe contacted Ramirez’s agent, who said …” or “the Globe made any attempt to talk to anyone even slightly connected to Manny and make even a token attempt to get his side of the story …”

  21. Dan Kennedy

    Wilson –There are two issues here. You’ve got a point on one, but not on the other.1. Manny has a policy of not talking to the media. Period. Now, this is where you’ve got a point: There’s a school of thought that says you try to make contact every single time you write something negative about someone, no matter how many times that person has declined to comment. I can certainly understand why Edes has reached the point where he wouldn’t bother (and maybe he did, but thought it was so unremarkable that he left it out of his piece), but you’re not entirely wrong to think he should have tried (assuming he didn’t).2. Sorry, but if Manny’s not talking, no one is under any obligation to go to his agent or anyone else. Last time I checked, Manny was of age and capable of making his own decisions.

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