Manny Disgraces Red Sox, to Start in Left Friday

Gordon Edes takes on the newest Manny Ramirez scandal in today’s Globe, and he doesn’t mince any words.  Edes calls Ramirez a "disgrace", and though in the past it’s been easier to dismiss some of Ramirez’s foibles as simply enigmatic and acceptable because he produces, in this case there’s no room for the "Mercurial Defense".  Edes is right. Ramirez, when approached by Francona before yesterday’s Sox-Devil Rays game to forgo a scheduled day off to help fill out a depleted lineup, declined to accept, stating he was "tired".  This after Matt Clement gets lifted off the field in a stretcher, Trot goes on the DL, and also before a scheduled day off today.   

This incident illustrates a by-product of signing a prima-donna athlete to a long-term contract, and this is a residually corrosive piece of fallout: the emasculation of the manager in front of the entire team and in full public view.  As Edes explains, Terry Francona backpedals a bit from his explanation on why Ramirez asked out, but does so with a zombie-like cadence, and this cover job fails to hide his utter lack of power over certain aspects of the team.  It’s a bad situation, and the only saving grace is that Manny has already helped the Sox to a championship and there are only three years left on his contract, so shipping him off gets financially easier every day.   I think this incident also gives the Sox’ brass a weapon to use on Francona, when Tito’s day of reckoning begins to approach.  I await Yankees’ fans accusing me of "throwing Manny under a bus", but for the team’s highest-paid player to ask out of a game after being requested by his manager to step in to help the team after a fellow teammate is nearly maimed and a fellow outfielder is sent to the DL in the thick of a pennant race (and it shouldn’t matter where the team is in the standings, to be truthful), is, just as Edes says, disgraceful.

17 comments… add one

  • It is a shame, but thats one of the prices we’re paying for having one of the top hitters in the game. The other being $20 Million a year. But since that figure isn’t a) being paid by me, and b) preventing the Sox from aquiring premium talent I’m willing to look past it.
    While it is true that each year makes it easier to trade Manny because of the lessened financial burden a prospective team would have to take on, as of four days from now Manny will have 10-5 rights, which is effectively a no-trade clause. That could make it impossible to trade him. Not that I want to anyway.
    Also, its important to keep the bottom line in focus at all times, so remember, while disgraceful, Manny’s little episode didn’t actually cost the Sox anything as they won the game.

    mattymatty July 28, 2005, 8:32 am
  • blah blah frickin’ blah. this is nothing new and the least of our problems.

    beth July 28, 2005, 10:14 am
  • Manny needs his rest, baby. Do not interfere. Just feel the love. It’s been a traumatic week. Manny must have his space to recuperate and regenerate before he returns to paricipate. He’s not the man to terminate. YF’s blogging mate should not degradate and playa hate. ‘Cause Manny will disintegrate. Now that’s a fate to contemplate. Don’t make Manny irate.

    Manny July 28, 2005, 10:25 am
  • I love what Francona said though…
    “When was this, when he was pissing in the scoreboard?” bemused Sox manager Terry Francona said yesterday when informed of a Sports Illustrated report that Ramirez has (again) asked to be traded. “I’m at a loss on that one. You guys can have fun with that one because I know it’ll have some legs for a couple of days. So go ahead and knock yourselves out.”
    Hilarious.
    Manny is one of those players…you love having him on your team, because you get a spectacular talent, but you hate having him on your team because he’s such an immature little prick.
    I have to wonder how good he’d be if he could just grow up and get serious about the game instead of pissing away his talent.
    Gah. Now I don’t know how I feel about him…

    Kat July 28, 2005, 10:50 am
  • Ah, the preening sanctimony of RSN, out for all to see in full dudgeon. Manny a disgrace. And not just to himself. No, he’s a disgrace to the Red Sox. To the City of Boston. To America. To the War Against Terror. Um, make that the Struggle Against Extremism. Whatever. Sox fans know the truth. If Manny sits, the terrorists win.
    Note how different was the reaction when the Yankees somewhat flighty outfielder took selfish action “detrimental to the team.” Did we turn on our Sheff? No! We loved him all the more.

    YF July 28, 2005, 11:08 am
  • Say what you want about Manny selfishness, laziness, etc. However, he is not (Kat’s words) “pissing away his talent”. For chrissakes, he’s 1st in the league in RBI and HR. The Red Sox are nowhere without him this season. Or last season. Or the season before that.
    This looks to me like Sox fans needing something to bitch and moan about. This season Manny has played more games than Trot Nixon, Kevin Millar, Bill Mueller, Edgar Renteria, Jason Varitek, Mark Bellhorn…

    Earl July 28, 2005, 11:25 am
  • Good job, YF. Blind allegiance is always the way to go. Thanks for pointing that out. Remind me, what exactly is hypocritical about calling out one of our own players?

    mattymatty July 28, 2005, 11:32 am
  • YF, the Sheff-Manny comparison is faulty. Gary would never ask out of a game. After all, all Yanks fans I know, including me, hate Kevin Brown for sucking and seemingly not trying.

    Nick July 28, 2005, 11:55 am
  • When I say “pissing away his talent” I am specifically referring to his antics on the field and his inability to see the big picture off the field.
    We managed the win yesterday. I was unable to watch it, so I don’t know how easy or difficult it was, but I know that Manny saying “nope, I’m not playing, even though we have a major injury and other problems” shows a lack of respect for the team and his role in it.
    Nick, you’re right. Sheff wouldn’t ask out of a game when he has a break the next day. Sheff is one of the few Yanks players I have respect for…even though I fear his temper =)

    Kat July 28, 2005, 12:33 pm
  • Way to put words into Manny’s mouth. I wasn’t there; I suspect you weren’t either. We also have no idea of whether Sheff has ever asked for a day off. Just because the media doesn’t report something doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
    Yesterday we played the worst team in baseball. The starter was 1-5 with an ERA around 7. Manny had been told he had the day off. He has a history of hamstring problems, and it’s been a problem even recently. This sounds like the optimum time for Manny to take a day off.
    So he sat. Maybe he shouldn’t have, but he did. And the Sox won the game. And everyone is pissed. Look, the problem with the Red Sox is not that our 92-RBI left fielder, who has played in more games than any other position player on the team (tied with Damon), is a flake. The problem is pitching. And getting rid of Manny does not fix pitching.
    Also, I love this: when someone like Foulke or Schilling tries to hide an injury from the team, and the team suffers as a consequence, they get roasted by the fans and the press (rightfully so). Then another valuable member of the team, who also has injury problems, sits for a game, and he too gets roasted. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t, I guess.

    Earl July 28, 2005, 2:21 pm
  • You guys are just learning now that Manny’s a flake? If you’ve known it all along, why be shocked and indignant?
    Manny is one of the most talented and productive hitters in baseball. Let Manny be Manny. Love out.

    john July 28, 2005, 4:11 pm
  • Well said, Earl, about the injuries thing. I couldn’t agree more.
    While I admit I was initially annoyed about why Manny wasn’t in the lineup yesterday, I really doubt any of us know the whole story. Is it a slap in the face to the team? Probably. But if getting the day off will help Manny continue to hit homers and drive in runs all through September, he can have it.
    I’m very tired of these “brushfires” (to use Theo’s word). Can we please get back to baseball?

    Sox Fan in VT July 28, 2005, 4:36 pm
  • Ah, YF resorts to his stock “sanctimony” attack, as if expecting a player to answer his manager’s demand to play only under extenuating circumstances is some sort of kee-razy thing on our part. What exactly is wrong with thinking that a player should answer that call? Yankees fans don’t have to use their limited brain capacity on this front because they have players like Jeter, Matsui, Rivera, etc., who would probably never refuse a similar request from Torre, but RSN is somehow off base when they call out their own player for not bucking up? YF misses this one, by a long shot.

    SF July 28, 2005, 5:08 pm
  • Re Sheff: We know that he asked to play last year when Joe told him he could sit because of his shoulder. He played for months with a shoulder he could barely lift and was the offensive MVP on the team that won the AL East. He’s a very tough guy. His flakiness is of a different sort.
    In a recent article in the NY Post he said that until he met his wife he partied and drank too much, and that it affected his play. And he said she adjusted his attitude, so that he’s no longer mad at the world, and that he has a better attitude for playing.
    I remember that the Sporting News, SI and the like would always say he was one of the best hitters in baseball. Then you would look at his stats, and they would be something like .250 and 70 rbis. His last year with the Braves he hit .330 with 130 rbis, and with a badly injured shoulder last year he hit 36 home runs and 121 rbis. So far this year he has 80. This as a right hander in Yankee Stadium. It’s a pleasure to watch him hit. His wrists are phenomenal, and nobody pulls the ball harder. Veteran infielder and third base coach Luis Sojo stands back with the ball girl when Sheff’s up.

    john July 28, 2005, 5:25 pm
  • Manny’s an adult who gets paid $20 million year – a pretty emphatic statement of his value. What’s the chance that he’s going to modify his behavior for a bunch of fans he’s never met? I’d say 0 — so what’s the upside to kvetching? A pretty good recipe for unhappiness is expecting other people to act the way YOU want them to act.
    Do you really want Manny traded? Who’s going to replace his rbis? Since every team in baseball passed when he was on waivers, what are you going to get for him?

    john July 28, 2005, 5:32 pm
  • I don’t think anyone has said “trade Manny” – I never said that. YFs are jumping at any percieved chance to attack RSN here, and as SF said, missing badly doing it.
    Clarification: All we want is Manny to show up when asked and play hard when playing, pretty much exactly what any fan base would ask of any of the players on their favorite team. Is Manny going to do that because we want it? Of course not, but that won’t prevent us from wanting it. Is he going to do it at all? No, probably not, but again, that won’t stop people from asking him to do it.

    mattymatty July 28, 2005, 5:49 pm
  • Matty, you said exactly what I was thinking. Thanks for clarifying.

    Kat July 28, 2005, 9:16 pm

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