Part of me wonders what it’d be like to have a player that makes people across the country go completely insane. I mean, they just lose their minds.
Starting one month before being traded to the Dodgers, Manny Ramirez started hitting like crazy. National sportswriters took this to mean that Manny hates the Red Sox and has been “phoning it in” for six years. They also missed the month he was with the Red Sox and dominating pitchers.
A few days ago, Manny Ramirez scored from first on a double. This sparked Tim McCarver and others to call his behavior despicable – after all, he must never have done this for the Red Sox; he never ran hard! Obviously, he’s trying harder for the Dodgers than he ever did for the Red Sox. (This ignores, of course, the fact that Manny has scored from first on a double 50% of the time over the course of his career, including 1-2 for the Red Sox in 2008 and 1-2 for the Dodgers in 2008.)
Then, Manny drove in a run with a double off the top of the wall in center field. It was a blast that looked like it could have made it out, and Manny stood for a fraction of a second to admire a possible homer. Upon noticing that it might not leave the park, Manny ran. Meanwhile, Victorino played the ball extremely well in center and got the ball back to the infield. Manny was safe and second, and nobody should be under the impression that he’s fast enough to hit triples to center on any kind of regular basis. But … by pausing for a fraction of a second he “cost the Dodgers a run” in that inning. Somehow.
Then Manny failed to score from first on a double. He sprinted (possibly faster than I’ve ever seen Manny run) all the way from first to third, rounded third hard, and listened to the third base coach who was putting up the stop sign. Victorino played the ball off the wall and got it back to the infield, and Manny would have been out by a mile if he’d gone, despite the fact that he ran at top speed the whole way. Of course, that doesn’t stop people from saying he cost the Dodgers a run in that inning. Somehow.
Then Bill Plaschke decides that he can trump everyone. He’s a great writer, and he’s out to prove it. What’s the one thing last night’s loss to the Phillies proves?
That Manny Ramirez isn’t worth whatever contract he’s going to get.
He went 2-2 with a double, an RBI, and 3 walks (two intentional). That’s the mark of a ridiculously good hitter who’s clearly gotten into the heads of his opponents. A guy you’d want on your team, no doubt.
Meanwhile, one of the premier bullpens in baseball, which had been successful all season, had a rare bad night. Therefore, according to Plaschke, the Dodgers should spend $100 million on the bullpen, to replace the “young and inexperienced” bullpen with old guys who require expensive long term contracts and will be over the hill long before their contracts expire. This ignores the fact that fully half the Dodgers’ excellent bullpen are experienced veterans, and the other half are extremely promising young hurlers. The bullpen may be the one aspect of the Dodgers team that doesn’t need work this offseason.
But Bill Plaschke knows what he’s talking about. Clearly. He’s jumped on the “Manny Sucks” bandwagon. And stayed true to the mantra of said bandwagon: Manny sucks solely because of how consistently productive he is.
Something about Manny just brings out the best in people.11 comments