Tag Archives: Manny Ramirez

When It Comes To The Playoffs, Manny Is All Wet!

21 Oct

I just heard on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike In The Morning that while the Dodgers were blowing game four against Philly, Manny Ramirez was busy contributing to the effort by taking a warm shower.  Manny had been removed early in the game and as is his custom when he’s pulled from games early, he headed straight for a nice wash.  Ramirez, the Dodgers’ most important player, missed all the lowlights as the Phillies came back to beat LA. 

Now, that’s a team player for you.

Here’s a guy getting paid on a game by game basis more in nine innings than many of us will make in a year and he can’t even be bothered to stick around to the bitter end.  And this is in the playoffs. 

I can see how during baseball’s endless regular season death march one missed end of game adds up to not too much, but with the season on the line you’d like to believe Manny would care a bit more…

Only Manny could make Rickey Henderson playing cards as the Mets bit the dust years ago in the playoffs look good.

Now, that’s a talent!

Mike Golic Could Not Be More Wrong About Baseball & Steroids!

18 Jun

I was listening to ESPN’s Mike & Mike this morning and was shocked at the stuff coming out of Mike Golic’s mouth.  Truth be told, I’m a Golic fan.  I’ve generally appreciated his insights as a former player and respected his opinions.  Plus, he seems like a good guy.

This morning, Mike Golic sounded like an ignorant guy.  The topic was Sammy Sosa and performance enhancers in baseball.  Golic bought into the logic spouted by Bud Selig in an audio clip played by Mike & Mike.  In the clip, Bud makes the astounding claim that baseball took care of its steroid problem years ago.  Selig further goes on to site how under the new drug policy there have been very few positive drug tests.  He sounds annoyed that he’s got to answer Sammy Sosa questions, when after all everyone knows Bud has cleaned up the game.  And YEARS ago to boot!

Golic swallowed it all hook line and sinker.  Pretty naive for a big man…

Baseball, despite what’s its commissioner would have you believe, is still grappling with its performance enhancement issue.   Manny just tested positive.  Bonds and Clemens continue to have legal problems related to their alleged steroid usage.  In addition, Sosa’s positive test wasn’t all that long ago.  It was in 2004 if memory serves and he hasn’t spent the intervening five years publicizing it.  In fact, it’s been the opposite.  Sosa, a cheat who was caught corking red-handed, has always maintained that he never succeeded due to anything other than his own perseverance.  He claimed this two short weeks ago again and said that any claims otherwise would be swiftly and aggressively disputed.  Funny how he’s being so silent now.

The fact is, and Golic should know it, these things simply take time to come out.  People won’t admit it unless they’re really pressed or pandering for dollars like Jose Canseco.  As recently as 2004, over a hundred players were caught juicing.  Only two so far have been exposed – Sosa & A-Rod.  The other guys are all keeping quiet.

And if they caught over a hundred, how many others cycled off in time to avoid making the list?  The fact is that in all sports some athletes will always do whatever they can to get an edge.

Sure, there’s testing now and it’s tougher than many expected.  But, anything can be worked around and with scientists always hard at work to find that next profit center, you can be sure there are guys playing today who are using stuff baseball is just not testing for yet.

So, yes, there’s been progress.  But contrary to Selig & Golic, this isn’t over.  A new era has begun.  Baseball, which was for so long complicit in the takeover of its game by drug taking cheaters, has now been forced kicking and screaming to try to police the game and ensure a level playing field.

Welcome to the real world, Mike Golic…

Another Amazing Week In Sports, Politics & Nonsense!

24 Jan

What an utterly amazing week to be alive to blog!  Unfortunately, other obligations AKA my paying job, got in the way of being able to write too much.  I realize that given these uncertain times I should feel lucky to have a good job.  And I do.

I also feel lucky to have this blog and to be able to present my thoughts on the week we all just got through together. 

Here goes!

Another Giants’ receiver gets shot!  Seriously what are the odds of the guy who replaced Plaxico Burress on the Giants roster also getting shot so soon after Burress accidentally capped himself?  Better than back to back Big Blue championships, I guess.  Here’s hoping Taye Biddle gets better soon.

Jeff Kent – when you look at his numbers even after accounting for the slugging era he played in, they are very impressive for a second baseman.  As a Mets fan, I saw quite a bit of Kent in the 90s.  He never struck me as a Hall of Famer.  Maybe that early impression is what keeps me from seeing him as Cooperstown-worthy now…

Alonozo Mourning – Zo has once again decided to retire.  Somehow this one feels more real.  After battling through kidney problems and leg issues through the years, I think he’s done.  Does anyone remember how limitless the Charlotte Hornets future looked way back when they had the young versions of Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson playing for them?  Maybe the young & current version of Chris Paul will deliver on that long ago promise for the franchise that fled Charlotte for New Orleans…

Brian Schottenheimer – I don’t get it.  What’s the big deal whether he comes back to the Jets as their offensive coordinator?  In three years with the Jets, Marty’s son has produced the 25th, 26th and 16th ranked offenses in the NFL.  This gets him serious consideration for the head job?  And this merits the Jets’ brass losing sleep over whether he’ll be happy to return?  Maybe it’s just that they figure if they keep Shottenheimer and the current offense in place the odds are better Brett Favre will return?

Rex Ryan – Maybe it’s cause he’s a twin and I have twins.   Maybe it’s cause he’s Buddy Ryan’s son and for some reason I always found Buddy entertaining despite my being a Giants’ fan.  I don’t know.   But, for some reason, I like Rex Ryan and feel like he’ll do a nice job with the Jets.  If nothing else, his press conferences are already better than Eric Mangini’s.

Goodbye Guantanamo! – The new president carries through on his promise to close Gitmo.  Good riddance!  Call me crazy but simply “disappearing” people just doesn’t seem real American to me.  Feels like we all ought to have more faith in our system than to resort to that kind of third world dictatorship kind of move.

Goodbye Torture! – Barack Obama delivers again!  Nice first couple of days for him by the way.  So far so good, but we’ve got a long way to go.  Thanks to President Obama, now the US will not be allowed to torture suspects anymore.  Another good move. America should not tolerate torture.  Beside not being in keeping with our constitution, it’s not all that effective.  How about just making them sit through a full episode of the “Color Honeymooners”?  Yikes!

Pope’s On Youtube – He’s got his own channel there.  How long til he’s got his own development deal with some cable channel?

Mark Ivaroni Fired – Is every NBA franchise going to fire their head coach this season?  And will it make any difference in Memphis anyway??  Especially when you hire Lionel Hollins for the THIRD time to coach your franchise.  What’s he going to do different this time??  Third time!  I’m not making this up!

New York’s Got a New Senator – And it’s not a Kennedy.  Would have been poetic to see Caroline Kennedy take the seat her uncle once held.  But, after her disastrous couple of weeks in the spotlight think we all learned why she’s stayed private all these years. You know, uh, you know….

Manny Ramirez – Being a pain in the ass can cost you a lot of cash.  Now, not even the Mets are interested in one of the game’s very best hitters.  As a Mets’ fan, I’m very worried about the pitching rotation and just don’t think they have enough hitting.  Manny could go a long way toward solving half their problems.  Course, he’d add a whole other set in the process but that’s just Manny being Manny.

Mark McGwire  –  Not only does his brother Jay introduce him to roids, now he outs him.  Would I love to be a fly-on the wall at the McGwire family reunion!

Herm Edwards Fired – Had to see this coming when the Chiefs brought in a new GM.  And although Edwards isn’t saying it, I will.  Clark Hunt has a lot of nerve firing Edwards after signing off on the youth movement that put the Chiefs at 2-14 last year.  If Edwards had known he had just one year to work with, maybe he’d have rethought going young.

Who’ll Bail Out The Veteran NFL Coaches? – Maybe it will be the Chiefs who are rumored to be pursuing Mike Shanahan.  It’s amazing to me to see all these young guys getting hired for head coaching jobs this year while big names like Shanahan, Jon Gruden, Marty Schottenheimer and Bill Cowher may be sitting out next season. 

Let’s take them and a few others case by case:

Mike Shanahan – Not surprised KC would want him.  After all, they had to play against him for so long and know how good he is.  Am surprised that he’d go somewhere so quickly after Denver, especially without being able to have Denver-type control.  Really thought that once again he’d replace Wade Phillips.  This time in Dallas.  If Jerry Jones were smart and Shanahan were interested, he’d make sure history repeat itself.

Jon Gruden – Tampa’s entire roster seems to be dogging him in the press, but you have to believe he’ll get another chance.  When he does, he’ll win again.

Marty Schottenheimer – All Brian’s dad ever has done is win.  Ok, not in the playoffs so much.   Still, I don’t buy he’s not one of the top 30 coaches in the pro football world.  Don’t see Norv Turner really lighting things up in San Diego either…

Bill Cowher – he strikes me as the least interested in coming back this year.  Still, think the Jets blew it by not overwhelming him.

Dan Reeves – He wants back in.  So much so that at age 65 he’s interviewing for the offensive coordinator spot for the 49ers.  Like Marty Schot, he’s another guy who has done nothing but win.  Unfortunately, both he and Marty may never get a crack at a top spot again.  Here’s hoping they both do.  The ultimate of course, would be to see Reeves get another team to the Super Bowl only to watch them get crushed by Marty’s first ever Super Bowl team. 

Denny Green – I’m just throwing him in here.  I haven’t even heard he wants to coach again.  But, with the Cardinals going to the Super Bowl, it’s worth noting that Green brought in some of the guys who have gotten them there.  You may have heard of one of his guys.  Kurt Warner??

Deep breathe!  Think that was everything I wanted to get out.

Thanks for taking a look!

WTF! Yankees Sign Teixeira And Unleash A Bucketful of Questions!

23 Dec

Sports Illustrated is reporting on their web site that the Yankees just got bigger and badder.  With money seemingly seemingly flowing like water out of the Bronx this winter, the Yanks just hauled in Mark Teixeira with an eight year, $180 million dollar deal.

Here are some thoughts from a slightly biased Red Sox fan:

This explains why the Yanks weren’t courting Manny.  I was actually just about to sit down to blog about how the Yankees weren’t living up to their end of the rivalry by not pursuing Manny more aggressively.  I thought Manny to the Yanks made sense cause he’s still one of the best hitters in the game, he’d love to come home to the Bronx and most importantly he’d be motivated to go head to head against the Sox.  Imagine the drama that might have been…

In this crazy winter could something completely insane happen like the Red Sox feeling threatened enough to bring Manny back?  While I don’t think either side wants to reunite, the Sox have to be sobered by the Yankees’ acquisition of Teixeira.  And with his bad deeds catching up to him, Manny is left without much of a market for his services relatively speaking (he’ll still wind of up with millions of LA’s or someone else’s money).  It’s closing time and you find yourself alone with someone slightly below your standards, you and she say “what the heck” and leave together.  Sound like a story you’ve heard before??  That’s maybe where the Red Sox and Manny are about to find themselves.

How does this impact A-Rod?  Is this deal bigger than his on a per year basis?  (I haven’t crunched the numbers)  Is that a problem?  Having another big bat has to help unless ego gets in the way, right?

With the CC signing, the AJ deal and now this one, it’s guaranteed that lightning won’t strike three times.  Now, you can look at this in a positive or negative way.  I’ll go positive but from the Red Sox POV…  There is absolutely no chance that all three of these deals will turn out to be great deals for the Yankees.  Life and really I’m talking about sports, just doesn’t work that way.  So, count on one or more of these signings to turn out just awful.

Are the Yankees better?  ABSOLUTELY.  The question is how much better.  Well, Nick Swisher isn’t their starting first baseman anymore so that’s got to mean something.  Again, maybe I’m a bitter Boston fan, but there’s still a lot of holes on this team, which is has aged.  Do the names Damon, Matsui, Jeter, Posada mean anything to you?  They are all old guys who are past their prime.  Yes, even Jeter.  Somebody is going to break down and likely more than one.  Although with their cash, the Yankees will have the resources to get replacements next winter.  So much for rebuilding with youth, Yankee fans…

Didn’t the Yankees (and my second favorite team the Mets) just ask the city of New York for a ton of additional money to complete their new stadiums? During these tough times will it bother any Bronx tax payers to know that their hard earned money is going to Mark Teixeira and others who they’ll never be able to buy a seat to watch?  In fairness, that’s the state of sports accross the US, not just in NY.  When will tax payers wake up and demand that these subsidies end?  If the Yanks have money for this signing, they ought to pony up the rest of the dough needed to finish their new homes themselves.  And that goes for the Metropolitans too.

How will the Red Sox respond?  Sure, there’s my Manny fantasy, but that’s not likely.  And with their starting pitching mostly set, who among everyday players is left that makes sense for them to chase?

Stay tuned…

The rivalry is back on!

PS – speaking of rivalries.  How would you like to be the Mets this winter? You land the best closer in baseball as well as another closer who was pretty good two years ago to fix your bullpen.  Meanwhile, your crosstown rivals go nuclear and sign the three biggest prizes available this year.  It’s like you can’t win for trying if you’re Omar Minaya.  But that won’t stop him from taking another crack at it. And that’s why sport is so much fun!

500 Home Runs Later… Manny Is Still Just Being Manny!

2 Jun

When history starts putting together its list of this generation’s best hitters, it’s a done deal that at least one goofball will be on it. And that chucklehead will be Manny Ramirez. 500 home runs later and Manny is still just being Manny. 

As bogus a stat as RBIs may be, Ramirez has produced boat loads of them.  The man hits for high average. And unless his legacy is tainted by a future steroid scandal, Ramirez has big time power as well, as proven by his having just joined MLB’s elite 500 Homer Club.  Most importantly, Manny comes through in the clutch. Although slightly eclipsed by Big Papi in recent years, when it comes to crunch time Manny is the anti A-Rod.

It’s no coincidence that Manny succeeded where legendary Boston hitters before him failed. Consider that Ted Williams, Yaz and Jim Rice all left Boston with no rings. Baseball may not be an individual sport, but then again baseball has never seen an individual quite like Manny Ramirez before.

Perhaps no other star has been so close to being shown the door so often. I remember back in the early days of Manny’s BoSox tenure when the Sox where so ready to give Manny away they would’ve take those ten bats that that minor leaguer was traded for recently.  Of course, that was all before the championship starved Red Sox got two titles in four years. Back then, Manny was just an impossible guy to figure out with a HUGE contract that boggled the mind.

These days, his contract doesn’t look so out of whack anymore. And Ramirez keeps producing. Meanwhile, The Sox have stopped trying to figure him out. For Manny, things are good in Beantown. Of course, with Ramirez that could all change tomorrow.

So what is it about Manny?  How is he able to be so successful even as controversies swirl about him? How does he keep turning out one good season after another, even while being almost chased out of town?

My theory is simple. He’s a baseball savant. Manny is one of those rare individuals who simply doesn’t care. He got criticized some time ago for saying that if he lost in the playoffs it wouldn’t be the end of his life.  And you know what?  Manny is right.

  

 

 

 

Either because he’s a deeper thinker than we give him credit for or because he’s not really a baseball savant but rather a baseball idiot savant, Manny is completely unfazed by pressure.  He realizes that baseball is a game.  He realizes that it gives him a good life, but that at the end of the day it’s not life or death for him.

 

As fans, most of us don’t want to hear that a guy we’re rooting for isn’t living and dying with every win or loss.  We tend to like our players in the Pete Rose mold.  The old anything for a win guy, who’ll have a miserable off season if his team doesn’t win it all every year.

For players, my bet (as I’ve certainly never been close to a pro athlete despite being a terror at floor hockey in my formative years) is that many of them are driven by the attitude that it is a life and death struggle.  I’ve heard athletes say as much.  For most, the fear of losing or the desire to win is a key motivator in their successes.

Those guys aren’t Manny Ramirez.  For him, win or lose he’s fine.  As a result, Manny doesn’t press and he delivers in the clutch.  Manny knows it’s enough to just be Manny.   After all, being Manny is a full time job.

500 home runs later, you’ve got to admit he must be on to something.  Even if he is a goofball…