Bileing On

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?

15 comments… add one
  • Not this fan.

    Brad September 23, 2006, 8:44 am
  • “But the flip side of that question is in professional sports, everyone is hurt to one degree or another, and a measure of a player’s commitment often revolves around his willingness to deal with that pain.”
    Edes lauds Trot Nixon in this article and damns Manny to hell, but if we’re just looking at the plain numbers of the situation, Manny has played many more games than Nixon the last 4 years. How does Edes explain this disparity between these two players? There’s an insinuation that the Manny being Manny soap opera that is an every season occurrence causes the player to quit on his teammates, but where’s the statistical proof of that? He plays more than most players on the Sox, he’s played practically every day. This season he played most of the year with a hurt knee (didn’t Will Carroll talk about Manny having a slight tear in that area earlier in this season) and it was only after the collapse against the Yanks and his generally ineffective play leading up to that point, that he decided that it wasn’t worth playing through the pain.

    Nick-YF September 23, 2006, 11:19 am
  • I think the worst line of the article might be this one:
    “Losing Ramírez leaves an enormous hole in the lineup behind Ortiz, but one that can be filled. Maybe not with a future Hall of Famer, but with a winner.”
    Where has Edes been during the Manny era? Wasn’t he a key player the year they won a World Series for the first time in like…forever? Re-reading this article has knocked Edes down a notch for me.

    SF September 23, 2006, 12:44 pm
  • SF – one thing you seem to be refusing to consider is that Edes is doing this hatchet job after talking to players in the Sox clubhouse. He doeds quote one unnamed player saying there’s no point in calling Manny out on this behavior, and maybe he canvassed some guys who made it clear that they didn’t want the story to be “clubhouse turns on Manny” but that they were fed up with him nonetheless.
    As for the pain/injury issue, he does say that the MRI came up negative, which I think implies that whatever is wrong with the man, it shouldn’t be enough to sideline him for 30 games.
    Not saying I support what Edes says (though I’d love the Sox to trade Manny, so long as it’s not to the Mets!) but I wanted to raise these points.

    Sam September 23, 2006, 12:58 pm
  • correct me if I’m wrong but this is an annual article. I seem to remember anonymous players being fed up with him in previous years. I think the majority of his teammates publicly say that he’s one of the most valuable players on the team every season, but, of course, his personality might not rub certain people the right way. It seems like a shoddy reason to want to get rid of him. Without Manny, the Sox don’t win anything in 2004.
    I will say that there is a legitimate discussion to be had about the merits of trading Manny right now. This doesn’t have to do with his trade demands or the injury issues. To my eyes, the Sox are in a state of flux. They are good enough to compete, but perhaps not good enough to win it all. They have an aging core of veterans who have seen better days and some emerging young players. In other words, there somewhere between the retooling stage and rebuilding stage. If you’re Theo and you step back and say to yourself, “We’re not good enough, we’re not likely to be a post-season team next year” then why not aggressively pursue deals for Manny who is on his way out in 2 years? You can get a lot for him (the Angels seem like a perfect match, and they’re loaded with young talent).

    Nick-YF September 23, 2006, 1:13 pm
  • This is a pile of absolute crap. As others have said, this is the kind of stuff I expect from Dan Shaughnessy, not Edes. Very disappointing. The Globe’s once revered sports page just keeps getting worse.
    There isn’t a single genuine quote from anyone in this whole friggin’ article! At best, this reads like speculation, and at worst, just inflamatory rhetoric. Until there is an actual quote from someone on the team calling Manny out, I’m not going to put any stock in this kind of “writing.” None.

    mouse September 23, 2006, 2:08 pm
  • Sam, I am not “refusing” to acknowledge this as you suggest. If anything, I am more inclined to take this article at face value because it comes from Edes, who I have always thought a straight shooter. Except for the fact that it’s riddled with anonymous quotes and idiocy like the quote about finding a “winner”. The article may have some valid points, but the piece is such a mess and so shoddy intellectually that it loses it’s strength.

    SF September 23, 2006, 3:11 pm
  • Not having read the article yet, I will say this: Although the more discerning public might distringuish Edes from Shaughnessy, the majority of Sox fans do not. Having already dismissed the rantings of the Globe about Manny Ramirez, the fact that the Globe once again rants about him will change nothing. And Edes has been anything but logical about Ramirez in the past — his in-story, unnecessary, irrelevent swipes at Ramirez have frustrated me for months.

    Paul SF September 23, 2006, 5:55 pm
  • Here are my thoughts as I work through this article (O’m not a knee-jerk Manny defender either, but you should be warned that I named my cat after him):
    “While the Red Sox crumbled when Ramírez went on hiatus …”
    Funny, I thought they crumbled during the five-game series in which Manny reached base nearly every plate appearance.
    “The eight games he did play in, Ramírez had two hits in 22 at-bats, an .091 average. You could cut off one of David Ortiz’s legs and he’d do better than that, or keep coming back until he did. The difference, of course, is that Ortiz cares. Ramírez, by any barometer, does not.”
    Is that stat not proof that something was physically wrpng with Ramirez? Even when he struggled (a lla the beginning of the year), he didn;t do that badly. Indeed, as many have noted, Ramirez is for all intents a machine — he doesn’t HAVE to care. All he does is hit, hit, hit. When he doesn’t, something is wrong.
    “There’s also a reluctance, whether it is a teammate, a manager, or a media member — to publicly question a player who is hurt.”
    That’s BS. I’ve seen plenty of questions — some honest and outright, others dishonest and snide (Edes usually has preferred the latter) — about whether Manny was really hurt.
    “Losing Ramírez leaves an enormous hole in the lineup behind Ortiz, but one that can be filled. Maybe not with a future Hall of Famer, but with a winner.”
    So a record-setting Cleveland Indians team, reaching the playoffs three consecutive seasons, winning the World Series make Ramirez a loser? We’ve seen what happens when the player behind Ortiz is moderately dangerous but not Manny dangerous (Lowell, Pena). Papi gets walked. A lot. And he sees few strikes to hit.
    It is indeed a hatchet job. It appears to be informed by his insider knowledge, but without saying so — without at least some sort of generic attribuion — it’s nothing more than Edes joining Shaughnessy, Buckley and Masarotti on the Screw Manny bus, with no proof, just conjecture and circular logic.
    I’d say the Globe knows better than to publish schlock like that,
    but Shaughnessy still has his job.

    Paul SF September 23, 2006, 6:06 pm
  • Well-countered, Paul. Edes has lost me on this one. The column is garbage.

    SF September 23, 2006, 6:09 pm
  • Manny at times does irritate me with his aloofness. However the guy performs and if he is hurt let the guy get healthy. What is there to gain this year by playing hurt. MRI’s are not always correct and display what is wrong with someone’s body. I have had three of them and the doctors say yes this is wrong, but nothing is on the MRI.
    I guess if Manny asks to leave Boston again we need to look at who is at fault behind this. Yes maybe the fans are a little to bold and scare the guy, but with articles like this to read about yourself first thing in the morning it makes it hard to stay somewhere.

    Rob September 23, 2006, 6:40 pm
  • Manny also PH tonight and drew a walk.

    Rob September 23, 2006, 6:41 pm
  • Buster Olney degrades himself with a comment on his blog today:
    “In other words, the Red Sox are going to have to pay for the right to give him away. And that is going to be a very hard thing for Boston to swallow, considering how great of a player he is when he’s actually on the field, how much protection he provides for David Ortiz.”
    Right, because Manny’s only averaged 153 games a year for the last three years; somehow this qualifies him for a “when he actually plays” low-grade quip from Olney. Olney reveals himself to be full of sh*t wih this comment, though I think I knew this already. I guess that’s what I get for reading a blog that is basically the “hard work” of a lazy writer linking us to other writers’ work. Funny that Buster has the nerve to crap on Manny for not showing up.

    SF September 23, 2006, 9:41 pm
  • I’m not terribly impressed with Mr. Olney.

    Rob (Middletown, CT) September 25, 2006, 3:41 pm
  • elexx-oc December 15, 2008, 10:59 am

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