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

Ramírez says he’s playing

Here you go. If Sean McAdam and Rob Bradford were right — and I say they were — then it looks to me like Manny just blinked.

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10 Comments

  1. O-FISH-L

    I’m not easily impressed by celebrities, nor do I make a habit of defending them, but I have to speak out against the constant “journalistic wilding” that Manny Ramirez is subjected to in this city.On the Youkilis thing, Manny’s only mistake was not hitting him sooner [years ago] and harder. Youkilis’ constant whining, sour facial expressions, throwing of bats, helmets etc. had long since become a tired, potentially cancerous and at times dangerous act. With Francona apparently too timid to act, and with a child [and valuable teammates] in the dugout at risk of being hurt by something Youkilis had thrown, I for one was thrilled that Manny took charge.On the Jack McCormack scuffle, an awful lot has been made of Manny pushing the “67 year-old traveling secretary” because McCormack apparently refused to supply (or doubted that he could supply) the measly 16 tickets that Ramirez requested for a game. I have to ask, with all of the money the ballclub throws around, why in hell’s name can’t they come up with 16 tickets for one game for one of the best players ever to play the game? With rock stars regularly demanding silk toilet seats and 15 magnums of Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque champagne, what’s the big deal about supplying Manny with 16 tickets — to an Astros game? Throwing McCormack’s age in there helps make Manny look like a despicable abuser of the elderly. Little mention of course, that McCormack is a tough as nails, recently retired Boston cop, in better shape than most people in the ballpark. Why balance a great story?It’s amazing that in the David Woodman death, plenty in the media speculated that the kid died merely because Boston cops didn’t appreciate him mouthing-off, yet I’ve seen no speculation that a retired Boston cop may also have been rattled and retaliatory when Manny told him “do your job”. If it’s OK to speculate that a college kid is dead because of short fused Boston cops, why not continue to speculate that a short fused retired Boston cop was at least half responsible for the pushing incident. Doesn’t it take two to tango? My guess is because it doesn’t fit the story line.As for Manny’s occasional, short term injuries / rest periods, sure it’s frustrating, and infuriating if it’s ever proven he’s faking, but for $20M a year, there’s no one better. Let’s move the microscope away from Manny for a while. You don’t have to like him, just enjoy the World Series rings he has helped, and will continue to help, bring home after an 87 year drought.

  2. Dan Kennedy

    Fish: Everything you say is right, but I’m not sure what it has to do with the matter at hand. It was pretty obvious that Francona himself was telling reporters that if Manny didn’t play today he’d be suspended. And if that happened, there’s a very good chance he’d never be back.I don’t know what it is about late July/early August. It’s always this time of year, isn’t it?

  3. io saturnalia!

    People used to say, “If it’s May, KG won’t play.” Luckily that wasn’t the case for Kevin Garnett and the Celtics this year.Maybe Manny isn’t the devil he’s been made out to be. And, realistically, getting 16 tickets to the Astros is about as hard as getting a flier thrust at you in Harvard Square, so why all the drama? Even McCormick wasn’t going on about it.If Manny’s being a detriment to the team, Sheriff Papi will take care of it in the clubhouse.

  4. O-FISH-L

    Dan said: “Fish: Everything you say is right, but I’m not sure what it has to do with the matter at hand.”—The reason I thought my comments appropriate is because much of the discussion of Manny’s immediate saga (whether or not he’s really hurt) seems to be intertwined with references to the McCormack and Youkilis incidents from earlier in the year. In fact Dan, you mentioned M and Y in your 9:43 AM post, “Is it over for Manny and the Sox?” In my opinion, those two incidents were largely reported with a decidedly anti-Manny slant [you were neutral this morning], even though I think he may have been justified in his actions in both, or at least 1.5 of those.So Dan, and I say this with respect, if M and Y have nothing to do with the matter at hand, it’s fine to tell me, but you should also tell it to the professional journalists who keep lumping everything together.Yup, the [insert Manny controversy] around June / July has become predictable, but I think some are too quick to label the next one as the fatal one. He’s a quirky guy but a great baseball player, I think some of the writers need to get over it.

  5. Dan Kennedy

    Fish: I gave Manny a pass on the Youkilis thing at the time that it happened. Unfortunately, there has been an accumulation of events that make that seem less wise in retrospect.You’re right about the media. What’s interesting about this particular incident is that the Sox appear to have had it with him. That may have to do as much with Manny’s numbers trending downward as anything. If he’s going to be a .280-25-100 guy, they can replace that for a lot less hassle (and money).

  6. Bill Toscano

    Fish: First of all, no matter what, you just don’t push someone you work with.I don’t care who the hell you are.Not appropriate.Second, I doubt the ticket theng was about money. Tickets are a finite quantity. Manny may have been asking for too much too late.Doesn’t he get tickets anyway?

  7. mike_b1

    That’s performance line a big “if,” at least for 2008.Right now he’s .301-19-62 with a .932 OPS. Put another way, Drew does that over 345 at bats and he’s the second coming of Yaz.

  8. Anonymous

    I don’t know about you, but a 36-year-old athlete pushing a 67-year-man, whether he is an ex-cop or an ex-professor, is unacceptable behavior. Period.

  9. UmassMenus

    You can’t just say an athelete pushing over “insert person here”, like they were strangers. These people know each other, and what if they are good friends?If you had a good friend that got you riled up and you pushed him, you would expect him to file charges against you and send you to jail? Since you said period, I guess that means every time you got into a scuffle with your good friends, that means they should always press charges and send you to jail. Good one.Thats another thing. The media doesn’t even know how close their friendship is. They aren’t strangers, they probably talk every day.With the stats and money; Manny is the protector of the lineup. When he is out of the lineup, they can’t score a lot of runs ( unless its a bad pitcher ). Stop looking at his stats, and look at how the club fares with him. If you look at Brady’s stats, you could drop him for Panthers QB. Oh, you won’t do that. Why? Oh, because Brady wins.People go nuts over stats. The Angels don’t have any amazing players on their team ( ie: Vladimir and Garrett, but their years are putting them over ) but they win. You don’t win on stats, you win when you have hitters and pitchers that do their jobs in the right moment.We fans have gotten spoiled since we won a championship. Remember how you felt after Aaron Boone? Now, understand that feeling was easily forgotten in 2007, when Manny won WS MVP. Hope that means something to somebody.

  10. mike_b1

    umassmenus: Actually, Manny won the 2004 WS MVP. Mike Lowell won it last year.

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