Aug. 1, 2005
The Manny Ramirez saga took up the headlines of sports pages across America for several days. Did he want to leave the Boston Red Sox? Would Boston deal him to the New York Mets? Did he actually say he wouldn't go into a game when teammate Trot Nixon was sidelined last Wednesday?
I'm a baseball fanatic, and I can't wait to check out the box scores every day. I love the game, have season tickets to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and simply enjoy sports.
It troubles me when I see athletes who don't respect the uniform they wear. Boston slugger David Ortiz asked why the Boston fans would boo Ramirez. Of course, on Sunday Manny had the last laugh with the game-winning hit against the Twins.
In my book, Ramirez is a future Hall of Famer, because his numbers are incredible. He is an RBI machine and a rejuvenated version of Albert Belle.
I have one simple question for Mr. Ortiz or anyone who wonders why Red Sox fans booed: How are the fans supposed to love Manny when he was quoted as saying he wants out of Boston?
Then Ramirez did an about-face on Sunday and told manager Terry Francona that he wanted to stay with the Red Sox and try to win another World Series ring.
I find it troubling. Someone tell me, why was Ramirez upset and angry? Is there a better city to play in than Boston, considering how the fans pack Fenway every night? He's playing for a manager like Francona, who will protect his players in the media and do anything to help them.
It's still a kid's game and it's worth millions of dollars to Ramirez, yet he can hardly smile. Why can't he be happy playing for a contender and starring in a big-time baseball environment?
It just blows my mind. Would New York have been better in terms of dealing with the media? Yes, he would have been back home with his buddies from George Washington High School in the Bronx.
Ramirez was moody in Cleveland, and he's moody in Boston. What would be different in New York?
Ramirez performed last year after his name was mentioned in trade rumors involving Alex Rodriguez. He's a great talent, and he can flat-out play.
Ramirez is a big kid at heart, but why was last week's controversy necessary?
Dick Vitale coached the Detroit Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in 1979. Send a question to Vitale for possible use on ESPNEWS.