Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Get out of my school, Rod

First, I don't sound anything like this. Second, I am of the opinion (born from the fact that I can't do it myself) that badly (yet comically) overdubbing MY voice with a badly (yet more comically) overdubbed Cosby voice is the blogging equivalent of Jetes leaping into the Dunbar stands after making a not-as-good-as-Pokey catch. There I said it. I compared Jere to Jete...afterall, there's really only one letter different...hmmm.

Anyway, I was gonna write this great, mind-bending/changing post comparing Papi and Manny to Richard(Papi) and Rod(Manny) Belding, and how Richard was always there for the kids of Bayside (The Red Sox), never called in sick, always willing to help, and how the kids just took him for granted sometimes, then Rod stepped in and was "cool" and "hip" and "mercurial" and was gonna take the kids on a sweet white-water rafting trip(the World Series), but then totally no-showed at the last minute, and Richard stepped in to save the day and take the kids rafting even though it would have been dangerous and he didn't have an overnight bag packed. Or I was gonna mention the episode where Lisa Turtle (the Sox) sprained her ankle, and her dance partner (Manny) totally quit on her because he didn't think she could win, then Screech (Papi) stepped in because he really loved Lisa, and they won the dance contest while Kasey Kasem (Remy) was calling the action and everybody did The Sprain (the 2006 World Series Parade) at the end. But then I thought the metaphors involved in all that would be too difficult to decipher. And that the references themselves might be lost on Peter and Michael and John. You know, cause they're (shhhh) older.

Or I was gonna sit here with all these stats to prove that Manny was replaceable, or that he's not as good as we think he is, or that he had no RBIs in the 2004 ALCS, or that blah blah blah. But I'm not good at using Retrosheet, and really, this is what it comes down to: it's not Manny that's irreplaceable, it's his numbers that are, maybe. Let's get that straight. None of you care about Manny Ramirez. You care about Manny's OBP, homers, RBIs, etc. You don't care about the person, no matter how many stories you've read in the Globe trying to figure out who Manny really is. Manny Ramirez has never done anything for any of us, short of maybe signing an autograph, or in my case, giving me the double Manny point at Camden Yards when I drunkenly yelled his name repeatedly during a pitching change. So it's not Manny that any of us care about keeping. It's his offensive production. And it can't be replaced very easily with one guy. A couple guys, maybe, but probably not one guy. And none of us have ever been in the Sox clubhouse, and maybe Manny is such a cool, hip guy that he brings something "intangible" to the room. But maybe he doesn't. Youk, and Loretta and Lowell and A-Go and Cora, and Trot and Tek and Schill and Wake- these guys seem like blue-collar (I hate using that term when guys are making millions) players who would be annoyed by Manny's "antics." I would like to think that they would agree with me when I say that Manny being Manny is Manny being Lazy. And yeah, we don't know exactly how badly he's hurting, but his history with us has shown a willingness to play when it suits his purposes, and a hesitancy to play when it doesn't. Maybe that's just artful stringing together of coincidences to form an opinion. And maybe it's not. All I know, all we CAN know is that Manny has missed work during some pretty important stretches over the last few years, that he's refused to pinch hit (Philly, extras, '04) and that he's publicly asked to be traded more times than I remember.

He has said he does not want to play for us. What more incentive do you need to get rid of the guy? You don't think we can't replace his production with two guys who are actually happy and honored to be playing in front of fans like us every day? I know you all laugh when I make restaurant analogies (and you're right- it's a bad comparison. I actually have a job, and they play a game) but I had a bartender once that, upon being called out for rule-breaking, told the GM and me to, "Just fire [him] already!" So what'd we do? We lined up a replacement, and we fired the guy. Did it hurt the restaurant short-term (not making the playoffs in 2007)? Probably. But it set a tone that nobody is bigger than the team. And the true, dedicated professionals that work for me appreciated it. It honored the great job they do every day by refusing to tolerate the lazy and self-serving actions of someone who does not share their work ethic or loyalty or professionalism.

Did Manny make the walk-off, the clutch hit, his signature move? No. Does Manny play the game with joy and passion and humility and appreciation for the physical talent he has? No. Does he play it with appreciation for those who help pay his salary? No. Maybe I'm being too analytical about this. Maybe I'm being to heartless about all of this. I totally appreciate the numbers Manny puts up every year. I just wish we could find a person or persons not named Manny Ramirez to put these numbers up. I think he's bad for the ball club, and he doesn't want to play in Boston anyway. It's time for someone else to take us white-water rafting.


Blogger Peter N said...

Well said. REAL well said. And if you take out the "i" in said, well, you know what that leaves. And it IS a little sad. We'll see what '07 will bring. I know some givens. It's a given that you and I will be rejoycing..... and/or lamenting about many things about the season to come. And I look forward to writing about our "who knows what's next" club. The off season? There will be so much to write about. If RSN news is silent, then there's life itself. One thing I do now. And will more often when the leaves, brown that they are, fall. And the white stuff is on the way. I did understand (Head Of The Class) some of your references. I think. But right now, on a beautiful Wednesday crisp and happy afternoon, tonight should be special. I love Johnny Peskey. Hell, we ALL do. Thanks for your reflective post. It's what we all (or most of us) feel. Take care Matty.....

1:57 PM  
Blogger Michael Leggett said...

Intelligently-Done, Matt:

My "FOX Sports Postseason Drinking Game" is up, with an important disclaimer to it;

I know that Manny & Mc Assery drive you crazy, as the Red Sox did all of us this season.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Muse said...

"And none of us have ever been in the Sox clubhouse, and maybe Manny is such a cool, hip guy that he brings something "intangible" to the room. But maybe he doesn't."

What would that have to do with anything? Millar had that quality, and they got rid of him, and IMO, he was about euqal to Manny. He had some great plays, and some really shitty moments.

Yeah, I'm not a huge sox afficonado like you all are, but I don't live under a rock either. I've been saying for the last season or 2 that his few clutch plays don't make up for the lackadasical attitude he consistently displays. It's obvious he's rather be playing elsewhere, so let him.

8:11 PM  
Blogger MattySox said...

Honey, Manny's way better than Millar statistically, but I get your point about clubhouse intangibles not being that important. After all, everybody that reads this site would argue that Jeter getting this year's MVP based in part on the intangibles is preposterous and a horrendous miscarriage of justice and that intangibles shouldn't factor into the debate. So there, all you people who want to tell me what a bouncy, loose, fun guy Manny is- I say remember the Jeter-mo...

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Muse said...

yeah, there is that pesky stat thing... but you know what I meant.

9:10 PM  
Blogger Jere said...

I still think it's all media created. Look at how many games he's played each year. And I never saw any eveidence of all the things people say about him being any kind of problem in the clubhouse. From what I see, he's a lovable guy, who does want to play in Boston, and as a huge bonus, is one of the best hitters of his generation. I do like him for what he is off the field. Just like I loved Lou Merloni, and woul've wanted him to stay on the team. We couldn't win with nine Merlonis, but if we just got all the best players, well, we'd be the Yankees, and that's no fun.

Just this black doctor from the 80s's opinion...

And I totally never watched Saved by the Bell, unfortunately. Others my age did, and I was very aware of it, but never had any interest. Maybe you can redo this with a Small Wonder theme?

12:46 PM  

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