“We’re confident every day. It doesn’t matter. We’re not going to give up. We’re going to play the game and move on. If it doesn’t happen, who cares? There’s always next year. It’s not like it’s the end of the world.”
I will actually defend Manny here. What he said sounds a lot more harsh when it's typed than when you can see his exhausted face as he says it. It wasn't the absolute smartest thing to say during the race for a berth in the World Series, but it wasn't as horrible as some people are making it out to be. Manny is still doing what Manny always does -- he is hitting the ball, and being slightly more than motionless in the outfield. That's been working for Boston thus far, and that's what he will keep doing. Manny's attitude has always been laid-back; he's the anti-Chicken Little. Why is that well-documented fact more aggravating now than usual?
This is where my defense of Manny Ramirez stops. Even though it works for the Red Sox, I can't stand the way he plays, and I'll never be able to stand it. In tonight's game:
Top 3, 2 out. David Ortiz works a full count and eventually walks.
Up comes Manny; you know what usually comes next.
Ramirez hit what might have been a home run. The ball bounced off the top of the wall; replays showed that much rather definitively. But because the ball hit the top of the yellow stripe, and not anywhere else on the top of the wall, it was not a home run, and Manny ended up at 1st. Yeah, first base. The one that is 90 feet from home. For a bit of perspective, Big Papi scored from that same base on the play.
This is why I can't make myself like MannyBeingaDouchebag. If you watched any sports talk shows this week, you saw countless replays of Manny's Tuesday night home run. He celebrated as though he had just hit a walk-off to win the World Series, when in reality he had only cut his opponent's lead to four runs. I'm pretty sure the ball left the park before Manny left the batter's box.
That one was pretty ridiculous, but tonight's might have been worse, because Ramirez could not have been sure that that ball was a home run. He did not put himself in scoring position, when he should have been at 2nd easily. The score was tied at the time in a do-or-die game. How are Little League coaches supposed to tell their kids to run on all contact when the biggest stars in the game do not? Actually, Manny Ramirez does not run on any contact. He jogs, if we're lucky.