If past blowups are any indication, we should assume that Manny Ramírez’s semi-annual late-July/early-August unpleasantness is now over, and that he’ll return to being a productive hitter the rest of the way.
So what was it all about? There were several factors that struck me as being different from past occasions, including: (1) his still-impressive though declining productivity; (2) the fact that the Sox can walk away from him at the end of the season; and (3) the unusual steps management has taken to make clear that it’s had enough of Manny’s act.
It’s pretty obvious that if Ramírez had taken himself out of the lineup yesterday, he would have been suspended. And if that had happened, I doubt he’d have been back at all.
As great a hitter as Manny is, he’s 36 years old, and he’s gone from consistent to streaky the past couple of years. If he’s on his way to being a .280-25-100 guy, well, that’s still good. But you can replace someone like that for a lot less hassle and a lot less money.
That said, I hope he goes on a tear for the rest of the season.