10.19.07

Mariotti : Manny’s Got No Soul

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 9:43 am by

And no, this has nothing to do with Boston’s spacey left-fielder digging The Arcade Fire. Though hardly overshadowing Josh Beckett dominating the Indians last night (or C.C. Sabathia’s continued woes in the post-season), Manny’s hesitancy to bust it out of the box remains a hot topic this morning, thanks to the Chicago Sun-Times’ mascara-fiend Jay Mariotti.

It’s no longer about Manny Being Manny, maybe the most stale cliche and lame justification in the annals of baseball and psychology. No, it’s about a Moron Being a Moron, a $20-million-a-year slugger/slacker embarrassing himself with his mouth, his on-field stunts and his attitude. Good thing for Ramirez that he had Beckett, October pitching legend, as a teammate Thursday night. If not for Beckett’s latest gem, including a curse-and-stare showdown with Cleveland pest Lofton that almost sparked a brawl, America would be talking even more about Ramirez’s latest farce in a 7-1 victory that saved the Red Sox from elimination.

It was troubling enough when Ramirez waxed lackadaisical about the deficit of the Red Sox, causing a furor in New England that won’t be soothed by a win that trims the Indians’ series lead to 3-2. “If it doesn’t happen, so who cares? There’s always next year,” Ramirez said on the eve of Game 5. “It’s not like the end of the world or something.”

Manny proceeded to play like he didn’t care. In a series in which he already mocked the seriousness of competition by raising his hands triumphantly after a meaningless home run, Ramirez topped himself in the third with another incredibly selfish, doltish moment. We’re not saying the man can’t hit a baseball, and facing Cleveland’s struggling C.C. Sabathia, he ripped a laser beam to right-center field that struck the top of the wall. And I mean the very top of the wall, deflecting off the padded yellow stripe and bouncing back onto the field. But according to the Jacobs Field ground rules, the ball must clear the fence to be a home run, which Ramirez should know, considering he used to play for the Indians and has been in this ballpark hundreds of times.

Manny didn’t know. Manny doesn’t know much of anything. He stayed quite a long time in the batter’s box admiring the shot, then trotted down the first-base line. He peered at his masterpiece, rounded the bag and tried to low-five the first-base coach, Luis Alicea. But Ramirez received no skin in return — because it wasn’t a home run. It was a 380-foot single.

I don’t care if he hits .500 in the postseason. I don’t care if he’s on a power tear. Manny has insulted and mocked the game this week more than the late Max Patkin, baseball’s clown prince, ever did. He should be ashamed, but, hey, it’s not the end of the world.

3 Responses to “Mariotti : Manny’s Got No Soul”

  1. Ward York says:

    And to think that this unhinged vitriol could have been wasted on laying into the Cubs for, I dunno, failing to lay down a sac bunt in the 8th inning of a 10-2 blowout. Just another thing we can thank Sweet Lou for.

  2. Rog says:

    That ball was a homer, first of all, and Lowell struck out to end the inning. I guess it would’ve been better for Ramirez to be at second when that happened. Whatever. And the play at the plate was the result of yet another bad 3rd base coach of the Sox sending a runner in at the inappropriate time. I hope Manny gets the MVP of the ALCS. I really do. I could really give a shit what all these copycat sports geniuses think of Manny not busting out of the box when they should be talking about how the Sox got hosed on the homer call.

  3. Rocco says:

    Near as I can tell, “New England” (sayeth the Chicago sports writer) is not now nor has ever been in a furor over the things that Manny says. As far as lucid, diplomatic Red Sox spokesmen go, I think there are some 20-odd guys in the sox clubhouse ahead of him on that, and that include Javier Lopez. Yes, Athletes can say dumb/careless things. Christ, Carl Everett held court on dinosaurs. Fine, whatever. But arguing a home run call? That’s really the most insulting, mocking thing to happen to Baseball? Not, uh… the drugs ‘n stuff? No? Not even the fact that there seems to be a week and a half between each playoff game? Ok then. And as for celebrating your ability to score for your team in cocky fashion, I pray to god Mariotti never watches an NFL game, his head may implode.

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