Bryan writes: You make a good point about Manny and have strong facts to back up your point, but the final question: is it OK for Manny to jog down the first base line in the 10th inning of a tight game? These games right now have the same value as the games do in September -- no matter what team you're playing. You don't get two wins in the win column if you win in September. All of these games account for your overall record equally. Granted Manny was safe at first and the Sox won the game, but it could've easily been the other way around. He's lucky it wasn't.
And it's not like this is the first goof up for Manny.
Clearly, we're not the only unhappy ones either. This could be one of the first times we've heard Francona throw one his own players under the bus. Yes, the faithful Francona that sticks by his players no matter what. Very uncharacteristic of him, clearly annoyed with Manny.
Kyle says: Great article! Not sure how many emails you are receiving in support of Manny but this is one. Thanks for writing that article and I hope more of Red Sox nation will get a chance to read it. I'm making sure all of my friends do.
I could care less about his contract. Every "superstar" baseball player has as huge contract and they haven't exactly performed or entertained quite like Manny has for his Boston fans. I mean, the whole pocket inside out thing. The Green Monster visit. The water bottle in his back pocket. The way he flips the ball into the stands after making a good catch (last out against Chicago on Saturday). The way he just mashes the ball! Can't be replaced.
Ortiz/Manny duo in the lineup…never, ever see anything like it in Boston again. Don't break that up until it naturally does…meaning Manny retires from baseball.
An interested observer writes: I have to say I do not agree with the
Trot Nixon comparisons, which I've heard before. Yes, Nixon has made
some blunders, but Nixon hustles almost all the time and plays hurt.
Making 3-4 mental mistakes each year does not put him in the same
league with Ramirez, who dogs it almost every day -- loafing out of the
batter's box after hitting the ball, turning doubles into singles,
tossing the ball back to the infield, etc. But I respect your opinion,
and I do agree that many people are overreacting.
Simon F. of Northern Idaho writes: I think that people are particularly hard on Ramirez because he's kind of a simpleton. He's the idiot savant. Like Rain Man could count 156 toothpicks when they hit the floor, Manny can roll out of bed and blast
45 and knock in 145. He's the guy who doesn't know any better. All he
knows how to do is play baseball. He's not charismatic and I think
there's a perception that he doesn't respect the game or the gifts God
bestowed upon him. Like few players — only guys like Vladimir Guerrero,
Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera do it now — he is great with what
seems like minimal effort. He makes the game look so damn easy that it
sure as hell appears like he doesn't care. Those are the kinds
of guys American society hates. Then you look at some guy like Trot
Nixon, who isn't blessed with the same skill set and we want to glorify
the hard-working everyman. America is among the world's richest
countries and we are certainly among the most arrogant, but we still
like to act like we're the scrappy underdog who's overcoming all odds
to achieve greatness. That's why we love guys like Nixon, Rex Hudler
and John Kruk and have disdain for Manny, Frank Robinson and Barry
Bonds. You'll notice the skin shade of all the guys listed in each
category, but that's another rant for another time.
Shhh! Stop that, Simon. It isn't polite to mention things like that in Boston. In a possibly related note, here's something that passed completely without notice the past couple days: The Red Sox used a grand total of 10 pitchers over the past two Tampa Bay games. Six in game two, four in game three.
Now, who didn't appear in either of those games? Mike Timlin. Terry Francona specifically gave him those two games off as rest so he'd have three days off before the Twins series.
Huh? Didn't Timlin understand how important these games were? With a starter hurt, and the bullpen getting chewed up? And why is Francona publicly throwing Manny under the bus while he's giving Timlin time off?
The funniest part about this is that I noticed this reading a Red Sox report that frothed about bad evil Manny in the lead, then buried the Timlin item down the bottom.