Gordon Edes runs out one of the harshest hatchet jobs I have ever read in today’s Globe, pillorying Manny Ramirez and his efforts down this year’s stretch. Edes is hardly Dan Shaughnessy, and his reputation is as one of the stronger beat writers around and something of a straight-shooter. His work on the A-Rod/Nomar/Yankees soap opera during the winter of 2003/2004 was some of the best baseball journalism done in Boston in years.
But Edes certainly makes some dubious claims in the piece (Manny missing 22 of 30 games, and hitting .091 in the eight he did play as evidence of a lack of heart as opposed to a real injury is just one, lauding Coco Crisp for playing with an injury despite already missing 35+ games earlier in the season another). I am not one to refllexively defend Manny: though I love watching him play and marvel at his skills I don’t feel the same attachment to him that I feel towards Papi, or that I felt towards a guy like Pedro. Edes’ piece reads like the rantings of a frustrated fan, and it meanders on and off the path of logic at moments. On the other hand, Edes is a good citizen, as far as writers go: he’s no John Heyman, who does his best to snarkily razz rivals at the expense of intelligent analysis, or (the aforementioned) Shaughnessy, who never met an arrogant sentence he didn’t like. So this might be something more significant, something more revelatory about Manny’s presence (or lack thereof). For me, at least, and considering the source, reading this in one of Edes’ columns was more troubling than usual. I wonder: will the fans follow Edes’ lead and turn on Manny as well?