Monday, September 25, 2006

Matty Beaning Manny

Once again, Manny Ramirez is on the recieving end of lots of criticism. People still think he's faking his injury. Or, simply not playing through the pain. I don't know how anybody could tell someone how they feel without being inside that person's body. And there are unsubstantiated rumors that he's asking for a trade again.

Now, I have to say, if I were treated by the press the way Manny is, I'd think about going to any other city, too. It's interesting how if you ignore all these newspaper people, you'd never know there was a problem. (There isn't one.) Watch the games only, and you'll learn that Manny's injured, hear how he's trying to get back, then witness as he pinch-hits to an overwhelming response from the Red Sox fans in the stands. In Canada.

I haven't read dirtdogs in months, and I've never really been able to get into reading message boards. And not only because SoSH might as well be the Land of Freakin' Oz to me, since I can't post on it, can't navigate it, and can't even seem to get there unless a hyperlink-twister picks me up and drops me there. So I wonder what else I've missed this season. There could've been a month-long rumor about Mark Loretta being a transvestite for all I know. Ignore that stuff. You'll feel better about yourself and the team.

There's a pretty good discussion of the current Manny mania on Joy of Sox here. I'm glad to say the author is on the Jere side in this debate. (Mainly because when the "respected" bloggers agree with you, you look that much less crazy.)

So, the other day, regular ARSFIP F'n T reader MattySox gave us his opinion on Manny:

As a manager, in the restaurant business, but that isn't really important to my point, I frequently come across servers and bartenders who are well loved by their customers, sometimes by their co-workers, who make a lot of money and generally appear to an outsider to be great people. But sometimes, despite what a great server they are, they're a terrible employee. They're constantly late, they inconvenience others, they are hell on management, and they're generally in it only for themselves. We fire people like that, despite the fact that by doing so, we may piss off some of their regular customers. Then what do we do? We hire someone else, and the regulars get their lunch, and they forget all about the person they thought was so great. Is waiting tables at Ceiba like hitting cleanup for the Sox? No, of course not. But sometimes in any business, people just aren't good employees, and you have to let them go. It's time.

Okay. Well-thought out. (Why can't one, seriously, one Yankee fan who comments here have a differing opinion than I without telling me how stupid I am, that I should've been aborted, that I have a small penis, and without a two to one bad- to good English ratio? Okay, maybe it's happened twice in three seasons.) The Nation's readers hear Matty's soliloquy, and some start to cheer. A nice applause for a heartfelt sentiment. But don't forget, Matty, what happened on that infamous date in American history, September 20th, 1984. We were introduced to the Huxtable family. And after Theo (this is Malcolm Jamal-Warner we're talking about, as Cliff Huxtable's teenage son) performed poorly in school and decided he'd simply skip college and be a bus driver, he had his own opinion on why mom and dad shouldn't punish him:

You're a doctor and Mom's a lawyer, and you're both successful in everything and that's great! But maybe I was born to be a regular person and have a regular life. If you weren't a doctor, I wouldn't love you less, because you're my dad. So rather than feeling disappointed because I'm not like you, maybe you should accept who I am and love me anyway...because I'm your son.

And much like with Matty's speech on why Manny should no longer be a member of the Boston Red Sox, the audience applauded. Maybe even shed a tear during the poignant moment. Then Dr. Huxtable was allowed to retort:

Theo... that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard in my life! No wonder you get D's in everything! You're afraid to try because you're afraid your brain is going to explode and it's going to ooze out of your ears. Now I'm telling you, you are going to try as hard as you can. And you're going to do it because I said so. I am your father. I brought you into this world, and I'll take you out!

Now I love Matty as much as Cliff loved his son Theo. So I can say that to him. And, no, his comment wasn't dumb, it's just that I don't know how we can know what's going on in the locker room. As far as we know, every single thing we hear about Manny's life off the field could be incorrect. These writers love to stir up shit. I again turn to the reaction of the "real" people. As I've said before, most people who go to Fenway don't follow the Red Sox to the extreme, obsessive degree that we who constatntly write and read about them do. There are positives and negatives to that lifestyle. But those people watch the games, and they see Manny on the field. And that includes the part of his personality we are allowed to see, as well as the amazing player that he is. When those people hear the words "Manny Ramirez," they burst into a raucous ovation. "It's time," you say? Well, I say it's time we give Manny the respect that he's due. When I say "we," I mean the writers, the callers, the internet, uh, internetters. The obsessed. When it's proven that Manny is a "bad employee," then the above analogy will be dead on. But until then, I think our friend and brother Manny should get the benefit of the doubt.

Sorry to pull the Cosby rank on you, Matty. Like Theo, you made the mistake of speaking first. But this isn't a half hour show. You've got all the time in the world to come up with your own sitcom metaphor for rebuttal.

Finally, my much maligned videographic memory of specific, importantly appropos, argument-winning, Manny-centered conversations from 227 comes in handy...this will be like that time I actually used algebra in a real-life situation...
227 is a comedy/
It's about Marla Gibbs and her family...

Wow, what a Cosby-y night this has turned out to be, as you'll see by the next post.
I sure hope you were explaining 227 for those less dorky than us...I surely know it...I dropped the reference!
I enjoyed reading this one, Jere. And after reading the informative article in the Globe today (Tues.) about Manny, I am convinced that....A) He was in pain. B) His knee needed the rest. And C) We need him next year, batting fourth, more than ever.
Tonight's, and tomorrow night's ceremonies should be special...really special.
" 227 is a comedy/
It's about Marla Gibbs and her family..."

That was actually the hip, "rapped" commercial NBC did for the sshow. I threw in that slash to imply lyrics, but I guess that doesn't work in a two-line song. Of course, there were more lines than that, but I only remember the first two.
I'm gonna continue the analogy and say that management of the restaurant decided to shut down during dinner rush, and let go its best waiter. Does it matter that our best server took Tuesday night off, when business was low?

He's still our best waiter. Firing him is just bad business sense.
Luck me and dad to be in Canada--Skydome, in fact--when Manny stepped "out of the weeds" (Toronto Sun) to pinch hit. It wasn't just Red Sox nation who leaped up to scream with joy and encouragement, it was a lot of Blue Jay fans, too. But one disgruntled fan behind us mumbled, "Oh, he's probably on drugs." With that, Dad turned around, stared at him and yelled (in that rare voice Jere--so rare that when he used it in our house we looked around to see who was doing the yelling): "You asshole! Giambi is a drug addict! Sheffield is a drug addict! The Yankees are drug addicts, not the Red Sox." The wonderful Canadians started patting Dad on the back to calm him down. But then after Tito got thrown out, when the Jays manager went onto the field to feebly protest a call, Dad used that voice again: "THROW HIM OUT!!!" The Canadian fans around us then laughed their butts off for about ten minutes. Why did they find that so funny?

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