*Picture from the Boston Globe*
Manny was back to being Manny, hitting a game tying 2 run bomb in the 8th inning vs. the Blue Jays today. After he, uh, admired his work for a couple of hours, he made his way around the bases. Upon reaching home plate, he greets Coco Crisp, who had been on base when he homered, with a hug.
That's Manny in a nutshell: selfish enough to show up the poor guy who left one on the fat part of the plate, but child like enough to hug another man in front of 32,000 thousand people.
From everything you hear from his teammates, no one works harder than Manny: early to the park, extra hitting, watching video of the pitcher, lifting in the weight room, etc. The goofy stuff overshadows all that and that's a shame. Is he selfish? You bet. All great players are. Is he a cancer? Nope: just goofy. What about a bad teammate? Not according to David Ortiz, Julio Lugo, and the Captain, Jason Varitek.
Now, does Manny drive Francona, Schilling, and his fellow players up a tree? Without a doubt. At times, I'm sure they want to strangle him. However, you ask any of them if they would be a better team WITHOUT Ramirez, I'd bet the farm that to a man you would get a big fat NO.
Besides, without Manny, you would not get pictures like the one I threw up here today: Manny, almost like a child, hugging Tito, while the look on Francona's face is priceless.
Here's to many more years of Manny being Manny in a Red Sox uniform.
Tip of the cap to Julian today: 5.1 IP, 6H, 3ER, 0BB, and 4K, and he did the job of a 5th starter: he kept them in the game. Solid work from Piniero, Romero, and Timlin, and the Papelbot closed it out again.
First place boys: here's to hoping we don't leave that spot all year.