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Friday, September 3, 2010
Will Manny quit on the White Sox?

Will Manny Ramirez quit on the White Sox? Dan Shaughnessy sure thinks so:

Let's dismiss (for the moment, anyway) Shaughnessy's references to the juice, the testing, the power and the skill. Because I believe that Ramirez, when healthy, remains one of the more powerful and skillful hitters in the major leagues.

The rest of this seems right to me. When trying to understand the behavior of professional athletes who seem to behave immaturely, your starting point should be that they probably are immature. Athletes with Ramirez's talents don't have to grow up to get ahead in life. They just have to keep hitting, and Ramirez has been hitting since he was just a boy. So, yeah: "average 12-year-old kid" seems about right. Average spoiled 12-year-old kid. Why should he behave any differently at this point, when men like Frank McCourt are perfectly happy (for a while, anyway) to give him $45 million?

One thing I think Shaughnessy might be wrong about: It might end badly in Chicago, but it doesn't have to. I don't know if Manny is capable of staying healthy for one month, but I think he's capable of staying motivated for as long as the White Sox are still challenging the Twins. If they catch them, I think Manny's capable of putting on a big show in October.

But if the White Sox should fall out of contention before the last week of the season? It'll still be a show, but a completely different sort.