When Superstars (or Journeymen) Attack!

I am going to be a contrarian here. I think that in the aftermath of "Shove-gate", the Sox should not only cut Manny, but they should cut Cora and LFRS too, just because.  That would almost make the idiocy of releasing Manny tolerable.   But in the absence of Theo Epstein’s brain leaking out of his ear, I think baseball players should have incentive clauses in their contracts for NOT accosting front office and club employees.  As our pediatrician advised us when potty-training our three year-old, "bribery works".  I have some ideas that might be worth some extra spending-around money to these would-be role models.

To wit:

  • Every time a player makes a request for extra comp tickets and the traveling secretary says "that might be tough as we are only 7 minutes from game time" and the player doesn’t attempt to see if the traveling secretary can hold his breath for 76 seconds while his feet dangle 16" above the floor?  Cha-ching! Dinner in Houston!
  • If, when the post-game spread doesn’t include their favorite Fla-Vor-Ice, the HoF left fielder doesn’t bury the clubhouse attendants head in ice-cold water for well over two minutes and request that the clubhouse attendant "swim to Antarctica"?  Cha-ching!  Strippers!
  • If, when your starting shortstop gets to the player’s lot and the back window of said starting shortstop’s Escalade has "this overpriced car has two years and twenty mill left on its lease" written into the dirt on the glass and the starting shortstop doesn’t forcibly make the parking lot guy look for a banana in his tailpipe? Cha-ching!  You’ve been DFA’d!   (we can dream, right?)

Clubhouse harmony (and a rookie shortstop) here we come! 

43 comments… add one
  • Cha-ching! Strippers!
    I’m requesting this as a fringe benefit when I have my performance review next week.
    And for the record, I think all of this drama can be avoided in the future if we make sure Manny always gets his nap immediately after watching Muppet Babies from 1:00-2:00 in the afternoon.

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 1:07 pm
  • Bob Ryan today:
    Manny Ramírez did something that, had it happened in the private business world, might very well have gotten him arrested if someone had been of a mind to press charges. There is no possible excuse for a fit 36-year-old athlete to put his hands on a 64-year-old traveling secretary, much less shove him hard enough to hit the floor. Never mind the idea that Manny had made an impossible request of Jack McCormick. Ramírez’s request for 16 last-minute tickets to a sold-out game is laughable. The idea that this foolish request would be the springboard to an assault is disturbing.
    Manny was not just out of line. Manny was actually indulging in a criminal act. The Red Sox had an obligation to inform the rest of the organization, as well as the rest of baseball, that they will not tolerate criminal acts on the part of anyone, even future first-ballot Hall of Famers such as Manny Ramírez. It is incomprehensible that such smart people as John Henry, Larry Lucchino, and Theo Epstein didn’t understand how much they had to gain by taking a stand for honor and decency. There is no more thankless task in baseball than that of the traveling secretary. How can any of the Red Sox brass now look Jack McCormick in the eye?

    Anonymous July 2, 2008, 1:38 pm
  • How can any of the Red Sox brass now look Jack McCormick in the eye?
    Maybe they already have, dummy.
    Meanwhile, maybe Bob Ryan doesn’t have much credibility or moral authority about this issue, considering he publicly advocated the punching out of one Mrs. Jason Kidd some years ago.

    SF July 2, 2008, 2:15 pm
  • Wasn’t George Castanza a travelling secretary for the Yankees? You would have thought someone would have pushed him to the ground for that whole cotton uniforms fiasco.

    IronHorse (yf) July 2, 2008, 2:19 pm
  • I love you guys are now trashing Bob Ryan to save face with regard to Manny. I wonder what Gammo has said on the topic? Does the patron saint of RSN excuse the behavior?

    A YF July 2, 2008, 2:29 pm
  • It’s interesting how the Manny-apologists slam anyone/everyone who don’t agree with them…not just with the national media, but also with two of the most well-known members of Boston sports media – Bob Ryan and Dan Shaugnessy.

    Anonymous July 2, 2008, 2:32 pm
  • Pick a name, Anon. They’ll ban you otherwise.
    But I agree with you. Of all folks, Ryan and Shaugnessy would know the true story. And while Shaugnessy is widely detested, I haven’t seen much hate directed toward Ryan. Now, the question is: Did Gammo say something or did he conveniently ignore criticizing the organization?

    A YF July 2, 2008, 2:37 pm
  • what if those 16 tickets were for underprivileged or ailment ridden youths? mccormick may have stood in the way of mannys genuine philanthropic nature. something like that would surely get mannys blood a boilin. the man is a modern day robinhood.
    before jumping on manny, try walking a mile in his shoes…..and once you get a mile away, run like hell because manny will be looking for his shoes.

    sf rod July 2, 2008, 2:42 pm
  • And what if Clemens really wanted Piazza to autograph that bat for his foundation?

    A YF July 2, 2008, 2:44 pm
  • Of all folks, Ryan and Shaugnessy would know the true story.
    The Red Sox Organization and the people involved with this incident are the only ones with the true story, and they’ve all downplayed what happened. Dan Shaughnessy and Bob Ryan may have more information than us fans, but they are still outsiders. John Henry said that “actions have been taken”. There’s no reason for those actions to be made public, except to satisfy the media’s need for blood.
    People in the media are the only ones calling for Manny’s blood. Do you see any Sox players calling him out for his actions? No.

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 3:08 pm
  • Regarding Gammo, I answered my own question:
    http://tinyurl.com/6q32n6
    What a surprise! He of “OMG! The sacred World Series has been tarnished!!!111!!!” fame.
    And sure looks like the Lawsuit against Kenny Rogers was dropped because of the 13-game suspension – seeing as the lawsuit came over three months later:
    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=mlb&id=2182308

    A YF July 2, 2008, 3:17 pm
  • Ath:
    I can’t imagine the Sox players calling Manny out, that’s not a good measure of the situation. Manny doesn’t need to be excused for what he supposedly did – I have no interest in defending Manny – I simply won’t do it. But based on what has leaked out it’s just impossible to know what really transpired, other than something happened and the team says it is dealing with it. I have no clue what that means, either.
    Trade rumors during the Winter Meetings are easily dismissed (“terrible reporting, speculation, we can’t possibly know the truth!) despite similar sourcing (“team officials”, “those involved in the situation”), but today these writers are encyclopedic and airtight? That’s another double standard that we should all avoid.

    SF July 2, 2008, 3:17 pm
  • “That’s another double standard that we should all avoid.”
    Of course, but BR and DS are entrenched in the Boston sports scene. I can’t imagine we’d get better sourced info than from them. The team sure as heck ain’t reporting anything.
    There’s no denying what happened at this point and likewise the team’s response.

    A YF July 2, 2008, 3:20 pm
  • Bob Ryan is reliable about one Boston sport: Basketball. And he’s a good writer.
    Dan Shaughnessy is simply unreliable about any sport, and he used to be a good writer.

    Paul SF July 2, 2008, 3:54 pm
  • “The Red Sox Organization and the people involved with this incident are the only ones with the true story, and they’ve all downplayed what happened.”
    Are you serious? You consider it a non-story because they “downplayed what happened”??
    “Bob Ryan is reliable about one Boston sport: Basketball”
    Paul, do you really think you need to be a baseball expert in order to have a valid opinion on this subject? If Paul Pierce threw down a 64 year old team employee then it would be ok for Bob to weigh in on the issue?
    Guys, can we please stop the homerism? What does Manny need to do in order to earn a sharp rebuke from you guys?

    dknyc July 2, 2008, 4:35 pm
  • “threw down a 64 year old team employee…”
    wait, did i miss something. i heard about a shove, but this sounds like a whole nother ball of wax. wow, this story has legs.
    as for homerism with regards to manny’s actions…i plead the pettitte.

    sf rod July 2, 2008, 4:55 pm
  • “as for homerism with regards to manny’s actions…i plead the pettitte.”
    Well, even there it’s a matter of uniqueness. Many, many pitchers used PEDs and we only know the tip of the iceberg.
    When’s the last time you heard about a player shoving a 64 yo employee to the ground?

    A YF July 2, 2008, 4:59 pm
  • DKNYC, I was responding to the idea that Bob Ryan somehow has more information than the fans on this topic. His sport is basketball; that’s where he’s got the sources.
    So, if he’s going to be paid to have an opinion and broadcast it to millions of people, yes, I would prefer that he at least have the correct information upon which to base that opinion.

    Paul SF July 2, 2008, 5:11 pm
  • So if someone shoved your 64 year old father to the ground it would be ok…but if said person threw your father to the ground then you may be perturbed…I get it.

    dknyc July 2, 2008, 5:12 pm
  • “So, if he’s going to be paid to have an opinion and broadcast it to millions of people, yes, I would prefer that he at least have the correct information upon which to base that opinion.”
    The facts of this case have not been disputed…Ramirez shoved a 64 year old team employee to the ground during an argument and he was not suspended for his actions. If Bob is operating on those facts alone, I still think his opinion carries weight. I dont think that anyone is calling for the Sox to give Manny the Chason treatment, but I do think that a suspension of a few games was appropriate. Again, I think Shaughnessy says it best:
    Manny made a late request for a whopping 16 tickets for that night’s game and McCormick indicated it might be difficult to fill the large order. The two argued and Ramírez knocked McCormick down.
    “It escalated on his part,” McCormick said. “He said something about me not doing my job.”
    McCormick and Ramírez later met privately, Manny apologized, and McCormick accepted the peace offer (good career move). As ever, Terry Francona said it would be handled internally.
    CEO Larry Lucchino yesterday echoed the manager, saying, “It’s an internal matter and we’ll handle it internally.”
    E-mail response from John Henry: “Actions have been taken commensurate with what occurred.”
    Sorry, that just doesn’t cut it this time. The Sox promote themselves as a public entity. They sell memberships in Red Sox Nation. When an episode like this goes public, they have some obligation to tell us that it’s not OK for a 36-year-old athlete to put his hands on a 64-year-old club executive. On the street, that gets you arrested. In most workplaces, it gets you a suspension at the very least. Not at Fenway Park. Not if you can hit .300 with 35 homers and 120 RBIs. Not if you make $20 million per year.

    Anonymous July 2, 2008, 5:23 pm
  • Sorry that was me…

    dknyc July 2, 2008, 5:28 pm
  • Several items here:
    Going way back to Ryan..
    had it happened in the private business world, might very well have gotten him arrested if someone had been of a mind to press charges
    This is a stupid, pointless sentence. It would have gotten Manny arrested and booked in this situation too, should McCormick have chosen to press charges. He didn’t.
    There is no possible excuse for a fit 36-year-old athlete to put his hands on a 64-year-old traveling secretary
    There’s another stupid sentence that completely distorts the argument. Try it this way, Bob: except in self defense, there is no excuse for one person to make any form of physical contact with another person non-consensually in a manner that causes physical or emotional harm to that person.
    Manny was actually indulging in a criminal act.
    I’m surprised his editor let this line fly without sprinkling at least one “alleged” in there. I’d rather a grand jury make that determination than start throwing around words like assault.
    dknyc said:
    > Guys, can we please stop the homerism?
    It is not homerism. I think Paul and SF have a very reasoned take on the story based on the information available.
    > What does Manny need to do in order to earn a sharp rebuke from you guys?
    If I rebuke Manny, does that somehow make me a better person or shed any light on the situation? Bad Manny! You shouldn’t have done that.
    > “threw down a 64 year old team employee…”
    >> i heard about a shove
    I heard it was a pile drive and a cobra clutch; now he’s on life support, lost an eye, and they’ve called for his priest.
    Meh. Don’t get me wrong. From what I know, what Manny did was very, very wrong. It’s not okay to shove anyone around like I said before. However, this constant whine and cry for some sort of public stoning makes me ill with its self-serving aggrandizing.
    And by the way, I would have *loved* to have been there if anyone tried to shove my grandfather around when he was 64, some 30-ish years ago. Don’t fall into this ageism trap that is being laid.
    > DS said it best
    Disagree. DS said it worst. this was discussed at length on the other Manny thread

    attackgerbil July 2, 2008, 5:31 pm
  • Ok guys, I give up…Manny did nothing wrong here. It is perfectly ok to bully and push around lower-level team employees. If John Henry says that all parties have put the issue behind them and that Manny and Jack are closer than ever, then that is end of story in my book.
    Boston media, national print media, national broadcast media – their take is way off-base. AG just showed me the light…point by point.
    And yes AG, I’m sure your grandpa would have laid a hurtin on Manny.

    dknyc July 2, 2008, 5:41 pm
  • And one more thing AG, dont put words in my mouth that I took issue with SF’s posts on this topic. SF consistently shows through his balanced posts that he is no homer…I think he has taken a fair position on this issue.

    dknyc July 2, 2008, 5:51 pm
  • does anyone know how old the reporter was that randy johnson shoved on his first day as a yankee? should it matter? how was that whole thing handled? just wondering.

    sf rod July 2, 2008, 5:53 pm
  • Duke Castiglione…he was about 33 at the time. And RJ was uniformly roasted for that action – I dont remember anyone circling the wagons for him.

    dknyc July 2, 2008, 5:56 pm
  • And by the way, that event is on video – Duke wasnt shoved and didnt go down…it was more a case of RJ covering the camera with his hand and telling Duke to get the hell out of his face or else.

    dknyc July 2, 2008, 5:58 pm
  • Randy Johnson was a lot closer to 64 than that reporter was. Come to think of it, poor Randy was in danger there!

    IronHorse (yf) July 2, 2008, 5:59 pm
  • I think it would be appropriate to sit Manny for five or six games, since that seems to be approximately the punishment for physical violence in baseball between players. And heck, other than one home run in Houston, he ain’t done much recently, so sitting might be good for him.
    Other than thinking it’s probably a minor miscarriage of justice that the Red Sox are gonna let it go because Manny is indispensable right now, I don’t know what to think since I don’t know what happened.
    Did the shove come after the “lower-level” employee got up in Manny’s face, screaming? Did Manny just get mad from nowhere and shove the guy hard in the chest with no warning? Was the shove brutally hard or only hard enough to knock over an almost-senior citizen? It’s probably between the two extremes, but where? If I don’t know REALLY what happened, how am I to ascribe guilt? What Manny did was wrong, absolutely, but I don’t know *how* wrong.

    Devine July 2, 2008, 6:07 pm
  • > Manny did nothing wrong here … AG just showed me the light…point by point
    One of those points was that based on what I know, what Manny did was very, very wrong.
    > And yes AG, I’m sure your grandpa would have laid a hurtin on Manny.
    I didn’t say that. I am sorry for that to come off like a “my dad can beat up your dad” sort of statement, but what I also said was this is an issue about inappropriate contact, not age, and to try and qualify the contact by saying “Ooh.. this is awful because McCormick is 64” is a fallacy. What Manny did was wrong (very) because it was very wrong to do to anyone.
    My grandfather was a professional boxer, diver, and fought in small squad jungle warfare operations in Burma in WWII. Yes, he was (is) a certified bad-ass. His level of fitness when he was in his mid-late sixties (and beyond) put most adults in their 20s to shame, and if asked to guess his age, most people would have said he looks to be an outstandingly fit 40ish at the time. This is not about me; I share none of his finer physical qualities.
    > Don’t put words in my mouth
    Sorry about that DKNYC. I should not have inferred by your homerism comment that it was directed toward any specific person.

    attackgerbil July 2, 2008, 6:07 pm
  • Sounds good AG…lets get back to baseball.

    dknyc July 2, 2008, 6:13 pm
  • Actually, come to think of it, I’d love to see the cognitive dissonance of RSN when Manny pushes Gammons to the ground.

    A YF July 2, 2008, 6:14 pm
  • “Did the shove come after the “lower-level” employee got up in Manny’s face, screaming?”
    Somehow I don’t see anything close to this happening, most a especially a 64 yo traveling secretary.

    A YF July 2, 2008, 6:16 pm
  • “lets get back to baseball”
    If that’s what you want, I just posted on how much the Yankees are like the Marlins. But you may want to stay here – this thread is considerably less potentially depressing to YFs…

    IronHorse (yf) July 2, 2008, 6:18 pm
  • I dont remember anyone circling the wagons for him.
    Not coincidentally, I don’t see anyone circling the wagons here either. Unless you count asking for a balanced reaction based on the actual facts of the case — and not based on what Dan Shaugnessy thinks might have happened — “circling the wagons.”
    Has anyone here said what Manny did wasn’t wrong? Has anyone said he shouldn’t be punished? For the record, I believe it is and he should.
    But to criticize the Red Sox for not taking the appropriate punishment when we don’t even know what an appropriate punishment should be because we don’t know the facts of the case or even what punishment they meted out is badly putting the cart before the horse, journalistically. It’s forming an opinion about facts that are in doubt and incomplete. It’s, frankly, irresponsible journalism.
    To add to Devine’s scenarios, as well as AG’s salient point about his age being used (wrongly) as a synonym for frailty: What is “to the ground”? Did McCormick go flying against a wall and then “to the ground”? Did Manny push him through a glass coffee table “to the ground”? Or did McCormick trip after the shove and drop one knee “to the ground”? Did he stumble and drop “to the ground” on a knee and catch himself with one hand?
    Believe it or not, these are salient differences. Had McCormick chosen to press charges, the charges themselves would depend on exactly what happened and how — as well as how much injury McCormick incurred (and I didn’t read any reports saying he was sporting visible bruises, walking with a limp, etc). Why should the Red Sox not act any differently? The world is not black and white, no matter how mcuh Shaughnessy and Ryan (and Rosenthal) would like it to be.

    Paul SF July 2, 2008, 6:19 pm
  • > lets get back to baseball.
    Agreed. NY bats need to go to an anger enablement class.

    attackgerbil July 2, 2008, 6:19 pm
  • I agree, its depressing…I just listened to Mad Dog crush the Yankees all afternoon and then I get another Hank missive. At this point I just hope they break it down in the offseason and get the payroll down to the $130M range.

    Anonymous July 2, 2008, 6:21 pm
  • “NY bats need to go to an anger enablement class”
    Quick – trade for Milton Bradley!!
    Speaking of which, Sidney vs. his just-departed Rangers should be intriguing tonight…

    IronHorse (yf) July 2, 2008, 6:21 pm
  • “Somehow I don’t see anything close to this happening, most a especially a 64 yo traveling secretary.”
    Why? Because he’s 64? Could have happened with one of my grandpas.
    More humorously: because he’s a secretary? I’ve met me some angry, harried secretaries.

    Devine July 2, 2008, 6:23 pm
  • Count yourself lucky Devine – angry harried secretaries are nothing compared to amorous harry ones.

    IronHorse (yf) July 2, 2008, 6:25 pm
  • “It’s, frankly, irresponsible journalism.”
    That’s beyond harsh and inappropriate. 1) They’re columnists. 2) The “facts” have been well-reported and not denied by any party involved.
    If you want to see “irresponsible journalism” pick up the Post or Daily News any day of the week. This ain’t it.

    A YF July 2, 2008, 6:30 pm
  • “Milton Bradley”
    Sadly, he would be their most productive hitter this year.

    A YF July 2, 2008, 6:33 pm
  • Let me restate that I think Manny did a bad thing, possibly really bad, because I am not trying to attack the messenger or shift the argument, and (this is irrespective) Bob Ryan is one of my favorite columnists. I am not a professional reporter, and though I have some experience in that field, I do not intend to represent myself as such. With that disclaimer out of the way, I *think* that by writing Manny Ramirez was “indulging in a criminal act” and “an assault” Ryan leveled a serious charge. His wording is irresponsible, regardless if it is editorial.

    > Sadly, he would be their most productive hitter this year.
    True, on both counts, A. Sadly indeed.

    attackgerbil July 2, 2008, 7:17 pm

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