Anyone who has read this train wreck on a semi-regular basis over the last few years knows how I feel about Manny Ramirez.
I love the guy.
He's Pablo Picasso with a bat. He makes doing the hardest athletic thing I can think of in hitting a baseball look effortless; I never saw Ted Williams play but I can't imagine he made it look any easier than Manny although I'm sure he did.
Yeah, he makes Lucy from Peanuts look like a Gold Glover in the outfield, but he could play the ball of the Monster better than anyone not named Yaz. And he isn't exactly Lou Brock on the base paths, ignores the third base coach like we ignore the Moonies at the airport, and you can read War and Peace in the time it takes him to pimp one of his moon shots at home plate. But there was always something about Manny that made you smile.
Whether it was going into the wall to pee or mugging for the camera in the dugout or pointing and grinning at the dugout after sliding into second like a deranged elephant Manny always seemed like he got it; he was playing a child's game for a millionaires wage and he could give two rips what people thought.
Turns out he didn't.
"Hey, sometimes it’s better off to have a two-year deal in a place that you’re going to be happy than have an eight-year deal in a place where you’re going to suffer."
8 years, $160 million dollars, millions of fans who adored you, 2 World Series championships, and a World Series MVP is suffering? Every time he lolly gagged to first on a ground ball, had his Grandmother die, or said he couldn't play because his knees hurt I excused it.
He was MANNY.
So what if he fought Youk in the dugout, pushed the travelling secretary down and quit on his team in 2006. Somehow, someway I found myself defending someone who probably didn't deserve it.
After today? I'm done.
Funny thing is I'm not even mad about it.
I'm just sad.