Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
April 20, 2007
BASEBALL: Being Manny

Fascinating profile of Manny Ramirez in the New Yorker, built - predictably enough - around the unknowability of Manny. There's a lot in here I had not read before, from the fact that Manny doesn't keep track of the count except to know when there are two strikes and named his first two sons by different women Manny Jr. to what Dan Duquette is doing now (running the Israel Baseball League). David Ortiz also doesn't exactly mince words about Manny. Manny clearly works extremely hard, and follows one of the cardinal rules of baseball eccentrics, which is to tell different stories to different reporters when he speaks at all. The piece does leave out the time Manny cost the Red Sox Indians the DH for a game by failing to read the lineup card, resulting in Charles Nagy having to bat seventh.

Ben McGrath writes that Boston writers "cover baseball the way affairs of state are covered in Washington," which I would amend to say that the Boston sports media is probably best described as like the political media in a town where all the elected officials belong to one party and all the writers to the other one.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 12:52 PM | Baseball 2007 | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

Someone alert Dan Shaugnessy that an article was written about Manny that did not flat out call him a tanker, slacker and a jerk. Shaugnessy will probably try to get this guy arrested.

Posted by: jim at April 20, 2007 2:30 PM

The 1999 Indians game with Nagy hitting 7th was the crowning achievement in Manny-isms. Although Mike Hargrove deserves some of the blame for that.

Posted by: Pizza Cutter at April 20, 2007 4:57 PM

Alright, how did things go down in that 99 game? It looks like Manny didn't realize he was DHing and ran out to RF? Costing them the DH slot?

Then I realize, in Manny's defense and adding to the confusion, "Ramirez" is also on the lineup card in RF. It's just A Ramirez...

I hardly gonna hang this one on Manny alone. Grover and the dugout full of coaches should've made things clear to Manny...

Posted by: Mr Furious at April 20, 2007 11:35 PM

Crank, thanks for finding this. For sure, the offensive numbers that Manny puts up every year tell a compelling story. I liked the stuff about Manny's work ethic. How many suburban, let alonw inner-city, high school kids run uphill dragging a tire at 5 in the morning? The Boston media want you to believe that Manny's numbers are pure grace and he is too dumb to appreciate it. It was disappointing to read that Manny has done nothing for his old high school, but his explanation seems genuine and in character.

Last night, with the Red Sox behind, Manny grounded into a double play. Now I know how he must have felt about that.

Posted by: jim linnane at April 21, 2007 7:52 AM

I have been a Manny defender for years, and from the quote below you'll see I am in good company. He is the crux of the Sox' record breaking offense over the last six seasons. Though his grandmother/aunt's annual sickness/burial during the week of the all star break is a little questionable.

``I like David Ortiz a lot, but he's behind Manny Ramírez in my eyes," Bird declared. ``I love Manny. I love to watch him bat. If the game is on ESPN and he's up, I'm glued to the television. I'm stopping whatever I'm doing and I'm watching him hit the baseball. I've been doing that ever since he came to the Red Sox years ago."

See Link:

Posted by: PatrickG at April 21, 2007 9:22 AM

Manny being picked off in the World Series always tops my list. This was also back when he was an Indian.

Posted by: Mark at April 23, 2007 11:22 PM

I respect his abilities as a hitter - the greatest right-handed hitter I have ever seen - but that's where it ends. He's not a bad a guy but he also doesn't strike me as a particularly admirable person either. And for all the training he is said to be doing off the field, it certainly doesn't translate to hustle on the field. There's nothing admirable about a grown man admiring his own HR in the midst of a slump while his team is still down 3 runs.

So, for hitting mechanics I'll refer to Manny. For character, I'll look elsewhere.

Posted by: crg at April 24, 2007 10:59 AM
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