Monday, February 22, 2010
Manny Ramirez speaks in tongues - and people listen
The way people picked apart Manny Ramirez's statements today for significance was crazy. Crazy, I says!
It's Manny Ramirez. If there's one guy in baseball you judge by actions instead of words, it's Manny Ramirez. And yet, the baseball world got their engines all revved up, over what? Over nothing. Over a guy saying what everyone knew. Over a guy talking in such stream-of-consciousness that if he read his own quotes, he'd probably not recognize them.
In a world that rages against Tiger Woods for being robotic or disingenuous, here's Ramirez telling it like it is. Granted, what "it is" can change from one minute to the next, but that's kind of the point. You can't take what he says so seriously. We know he doesn't. We know this. We have years of intimate experience with this knowledge.
So why do people act like the opposite is true? Why do people act like they care about anything except how well he performs on the field after the games start?
Do you think that if Ramirez is hitting, people will care that he said anything bad? That if he isn't hitting, people will care that he said all the right things?
I'm not nominating Ramirez for sainthood, but it's just ridiculous how he became target practice today. It was like people trying to draw life lessons from a fortune cookie.
Manny was being Manny. And we were being us.
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A couple of recent articles serve as reminders that no team – not even good teams – usually has a quality No. 5 starter. Paul Boye of Phillies Nation notes, for example, that No. 5 starters for the 2009 champion Yankees had a 6.63 ERA. Chuck Brownson also touches on the subject at the Hardball Times. Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness has more. (Previously on Dodger Thoughts: "Dodgers will pick a No. 5 starter - and another, and another ...")
Scott Elbert had another pain-free outing – "fantastic," he said – reports Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.