Saturday, April 09, 2011

Farewell, Manny B Manny

Papi and Manny
By now, you should all know that Manny Ramirez has retired, rather than face more suspensions as a result of another failed drug test.  The news caps a long, strange career that began with a thin but strong New Yorker who went to the Cleveland Indians and took the big bucks to be in Boston, then turned LA into Mannywood.  There, with David Ortiz, he worked on terrifying baseball (and particularly, the Yankees) to the greatest heights that The Hub has ever known.

Today, any smart Sawx fan feels further cheated.  They're not going to give the rings back - nor should they - but there's a touch of hurt.  Yesterday's news reminds them of that.  It reminds them that Manny probably isn't heading into Cooperstown any time soon, and the Boston logo won't be on his plaque (it will be when he does get in...or if).  Let me be clear though, Red Sox fans should be proud of their championships.  They earned them.  That was simply the era.

They should be angry or sickened or something.  Manny became their guy.  Indeed, he failed this most recent test as a Ray, and boy, didn't Manny leave them hanging.  All class, Manny was.  You know, just "Manny being Manny."  Now he is gone, in a blaze of glory (or a cloud of shame) that tops off all of the bizarre stories that surrounded his career.

Even as a Yankees fan, I couldn't help but admire him (and fear him).  The swing.  The sheer power.  The outfield antics (always an adventure).  The way he stood and watched his home runs (oh how I miss Bob Gibson at those moments).  You couldn't help but laugh when he took a potty break - mid-game - inside the Green Monster. 

Today, all of that seems small.  Trite.

He had the nerve to say that he's "at ease."  At ease with being a cheater.  At ease with being a quitter (on the Rays).

It's not a good day for baseball.

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