Charlie Pierce on Manny, Boston Media

Interesting column from Charles P. Pierce on Grantland today.

St. Patrick’s Day With Manny Ramirez

In the column, Pierce takes a few paragraphs to recall how things ended in Boston for Manny. (Emphasis mine)

His last great run was in Boston, where he helped the Red Sox win the only two world championships that the team has won since 1918. It ended ugly there. Ramirez was accused, in no particular order, of being disloyal (for meeting New York Yankee Enrique Wilson after a game), of being violent (for an altercation with a clubhouse man), for jaking it with injuries, and, literally, for being opposed to veterans and to children with cancer. His achievements at the plate, where he hit 274 home runs, were attributed to his uncanny “natural” ability to hit the baseball in the middle of all the drama he created around himself. His talent was infantilized. He was a child genius on the field, and he was the personification of mature menace off it. That was the identity that attended him in Boston.

He was shuffled out of town during the 2008 season in a three-way deal that landed him with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The deal was attended by some strategic leaking from the Red Sox front office — something of an administrative trademark under present ownership — whereby the local media could exercise their tender consciences over the departed blight that was Manny Ramirez. His name was among those that turned up in the strategic leaking of the allegedly “confidential” results of a 2003 drug testing survey. When he failed a drug test with the Dodgers in 2009, half the Boston media took victory laps on his head. When he retired from baseball last year rather than face a 100-game suspension for failing another test, much of the national media followed.

(Ridding the Red Sox of bad characters was considered one of the triumphs of current Red Sox ownership. This view held until last autumn’s complete collapse, when it was discovered that several of the gritty gamers that management had brought in spent their time downing beers and chowing down on fried chicken during games. This, it appears, will be the topic of media outrage until approximately 2016.)

Ah, the good old days.

Let’s see, it was Dennis and Callahan who often stated that Manny hated kids with cancer, the infantilization of Manny’s talent pure Shaughnessy. We’ve gotten used to the “strategic leaking” from the Red Sox front office, and 2016 seems a minimum possible lifespan of the phrase “beer and fried chicken” in connection to the Red Sox.

  • latetodinner

    I am more focused on the apparent conclusion that failing 2 drug tests and being mentioned in the Mitchell Report is not enough to stop referring to Ramirez talent as “uncanny ‘natural’”. The fact that anyone would try and resurrect Manny’s reputation is beyond me. i can explain all of the idiosyncrasies and see both sides of those issues (charity, pushing the traveling secretary, the fight with Youk, etc) but taking plays/games off and then cheating by way of a syringe…unforgivable. For Pierce to put the blame back on us Bostonians is insulting.

    • whitey b

      Who took more plays off? Manny, with his occasional failure to run out a grounder? Or the media, with their constant, lazy, Manny-bashing columns?

      • John

        It may be lazy to write a column bashing Manny, but that doesn’t make those columns innacurate. I was the biggest Manny fan around because of his production on the field, but I think at this point it is pretty hard to defend Manny the person, why Charlie Pierce would attempt to is beyond me. Then again this is the same author who thinks the if the things that happened at Penn State had happened in a boardroom it would not be reported by employees because they fear they will lose their job since they aren’t in a union, so reason is probably not something Charlie is in supply of.

        • whitey b

          You’re right: The simple act of writing a column doesn’t make that column inaccurate.

          The simple act of a simpleton writing a column based on others’ inaccurate or misguided impressions DOES make that column inaccurate, however. Manny’s behavior is no worse than that of the drunken, wife-abusing, adulterous bitches otherwise known as the Boston sports media.

          Keep in mind some of these guys were around when the Patriots (including their owner) slimed Lisa Olson. Pots and kettles are both black, it would appear.

  • dan

    Has anyone considered the thought that if Tebow were to be traded to New England that the writing is on the wall that Josh McDaniels is a major influence in what would be the second player coming here that has a McDaniels connection because Josh McDaniels is going to be the next head coach and he’s already setting up his guys here?
    Think about it. Brady and Belichick retire in 3 years and presto…McDaniels is coach and the guy he used a 1st rd pick on is now ready to step in and start.
    I think you can actually bank on this happening because usually where there’s smoke there’s fire.

    • tl;138

      The Pats aren’t going to be getting Tebow. Denver’s asking price will likely be too high for the Pats (since they love to accumulate “value” draft picks) and they’d have to cut/trade Mallet and/or Hoyer.

      If the Pats get him (highly doubtful but let’s say they do for the sake of argument), they’d likely turn him into a tight end.

  • Classless

    No 2 World Series Titles without Manny, no matter how low a human being he may/may not be. That is a fact.

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