Manny’s Return – A Big Yawn

Manny Ramirez returned to Boston this past weekend, and no one cared.

The fact that the Celtics had just dropped game seven of the NBA Finals probably contributed to the lack of talk about Manny’s return, but even this weekend, when the focus could be squarely on the events at Fenway Park, there didn’t seem to be much interest in Manny from a media perspective.

I didn’t really listen to sports radio this weekend, so I’m not sure how much of a topic Ramirez was, but the upset of the weekend for me was the absence of a Boston Globe/Boston.com column from Dan Shaughnessy or Tony Massarotti (or anyone else, for that matter) rehashing all the Manny episodes over the years and sentencing the slugger to eternal damnation. The Boston Herald was likewise tame, with the harshest column being from Steve Buckley this morning, a column that was as weird as Manny, which was perhaps the point. I know he’s all the rage on Twitter  these days, but an Old Hoss Radbourn reference? Really?  (@OldHossRadbourn ) What was Buckley’s larger point? That Manny didn’t tip his cap, so he quit on the Fenway fans all over again? Buckley gets to be on The Big Show this afternoon to talk all about his column, so maybe we’ll find out.

ESPN had Curt Schilling on the broadcast last night to talk Manny, and he didn’t go off on his former teammate like you might’ve expected, except to say that in the end, Manny’s teammates wanted him gone, which should tell you just how bad things were.

Ramirez has been a fairly hot topic on sports radio this morning, checks on each station have found Manny being discussed, though there was still plenty of Celtics talk as well. I’m sure Mikey Adams will be treat to listen to tonight as he spews Manny hate for five straight hours with no Red Sox game. There were a number of callers today with anger in their voices  as they recalled why they hated Manny so much.

Which I really don’t understand.

In my mind, Manny is no different from the multi-millionaire rock star or movie star who is difficult to work with on the set, or shows up when they feel like it, or drunk/on drugs, or checks into rehab when they need a break from things.  

Do these same callers boycott the latest movie or concert from these superstars?  Do they have the same moral outrage?

Manny did some atrocious things here, and it’s best for all involved that he’s no longer here. He went too far in his final season. He quit on the team. But he’s gone. I don’t need to talk about him or listen to others talk about him anymore. He’s not our problem any more. I’m glad to see that the media reaction to Manny’s return has been rather underwhelming.

Hopefully we’re close to closing the Manny Ramirez in Boston chapter for good.

  • Michael Gee

    Dear Bruce: It was Samuel Goldwyn who uttered the immortal Hollywood axiom "He'll never work for me again until I need him."
    May I suggest that if David Ortiz was still hitting as he was in April, and the Sox were not on a major hot streak, both fan and media reaction to Manny would have been very different.

  • Tony

    My thoughts on the negative fan reactions to Manny (and the reaction was not all negative, it was mixed), are this: it was clear that the Sox were good enough to repeat as World Champs in 2008, and Manny shooting his way out of town may very well have been the difference in them winning or losing that ALCS to Tampa Bay….remember, they lost Game 7 by just 2 runs and lost Game 2 in extra innings. Jason Bay did an admirable job filling in for Manny that year (and last year for that matter), but pitchers didn't fear him, or the 3-4 Ortiz/Bay combination like they feared Ortiz and Manny. It's hard for some fans to forgive a guy if they think his antics cost their team a shot at a title (true, the injuries to Lowell and Beckett didn't help, and the Sox probably win that ALCS if either of them were healthy).

  • mike_b1

    Tony, I'm not sure what difference "fear" makes … one could rightfully ask whom among Matt Garza, James Shields, Andy Sonnanstine, Edwin Jackson, etc. should the Red Sox hitters have feared.

    Bruce et al, here is Manny's "quit on the team" batting line: .299/.398/.529/.926 and of a possible 109 games he had played in 100 (most on the team at that point). In the month of July (he was traded July 31), he hit .347/.473/.587/1.060 and played in 22 of the team's 24 games that month. The data don't agree with the perception.

  • Billy

    Traveling secretaries "feared" Manny. I can't believe people still defend this guy.

  • oldbob

    I'm always at a loss to determine how some people can tell when pitchers are "fraid' of batters in the 3-4 spots in the lineup.. do they wet their pants and is the yelow stain the tell".
    Or do these solons of the sorecard muscle Peter Gammons and Gery Calahan out of the way in the post game locker room and ask the pitchers "Just how afraid are you at the prospect of faciing Manny and Ordtiz"? Myguess is that Manny's return was of far less importantce to the media, becasue the RedSox are don' just fine without him. Red Sox success means no criticism of Theo today. Maybe tomorrw though. We'l;l jus have to wait and see.

  • oldbob

    On another thing—does anybody find it ironic that we viify Manny for man-handling the 60 year old prss secretary , and invite Petro to throw the first pitch after tossing Don Zimmer to the groung. How old was the steel plated headed Zimmer-100? Oh, wait a minute—he was a Yankee—OH NEVER MIND.

  • TjM

    No Bob Zimmer charged Pedro thats why

  • Rick

    The fact that people still believe that Pedro pushed Zimmer to the ground and was at fault is stunning.

  • Classless

    Bruce,
    The tone of your column is surprising. Are you disappointed Manny didn’t garner stupid, inane columns from some of the worst “writers” in Boston? You almost seem like you want to listen to Dopey Adams rant out his favorite player.

    Take it as a blessing that nobody cares about Manny or the silly, manufactured drama surrounding him and the Sox.

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