I love Manny Ramirez.
Seriously. The man is a media dream. Not only because he occasionally says things that seem so outrageous. But because some of the outrageous things he says are exactly true, so much so that most of his fellow athletes wouldn’t have the guts to say it.
Manny’s latest bombshell implies that he doesn’t really care that much if the Red Sox lose Game 5 of the American League Championship Series. That may well be true, and if it is, not cool. You make the money that Manny makes, and you darn well out of care. But I guarantee you this, he’s not the only player who has ever felt that way, and he’s probably one of several in his own clubhouse who think just that.
The other thing Manny said — that if the Red Sox lose “it’s not the end of the world,” — is EXACTLY RIGHT! It’s not the end of the world, and anybody who pretends it is (listen up Red Sox Nation) needs an elementary course in the priorities of life. Believe it or not, the Earth’s rotation is not impacted by whether the Red Sox win a World Series.
Now because of that last part, I’m not entirely proud to be a part of the media today. Taking a mildly controversial statement, running with it and making it the hot topic for nationwide talk shows is kind of weak — I mean, it’s not like the guy said, “My money is on the Indians,” — and it’s the chief reason most players don’t like, trust or cooperate with the media.
The reason this story is so big is because the only other topical story involves middle relievers, and that’s not a ratings grabber on an unnecessary day off (for more on the idiocy that is baseball’s postseason schedule, read my column). It’s really not that big a deal at all. It might not have been Manny’s smartest move to express his thoughts, but that’s the thing about him. He seems to have the mind of a 12-year-old and I say that as a compliment. After all, he plays a kid’s game for a living.
One other thing to remember: When the Red Sox play for their season tonight, Manny will be one of the most dangerous players in the stadium. Wanna know how much he cares? Just watch how he approaches every at-bat.