Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Sports Illustrated Gathers Torches, Pitchforks And Heads For Chicago To Burn Manny

Sports Illustrated offices are clearly drinking the haterade, bringing out its entire reporting corps to burn new Chicago White Sox addition Manny Ramirez at the stake.

First, let's listen to the rational words of Joe Lemire:

This summer, he grew unhappy and unhealthy in Los Angeles and, likely realizing his best bet to stay on the field and audition for a new contract was to move to the American League where he could prove he could still hit as a designated hitter. After learning that the White Sox had claimed him off waivers, Ramirez got himself ejected arguing a called first strike while pinch-hitting with the bases loaded in a game the Dodgers needed to win to preserve their longshot playoff hopes. The Dodgers gave him up on waivers the next day.

Because of his talent -- surefire first-ballot Hall-of-Fame numbers (.312 career average, 554 home runs, 12 All-Star appearances), if not for his suspension for failing a test for performance-enhancing drugs -- and because of his promise to replicate the dominant 53 games he had for the Dodgers in 2008 when he batted .396 with 17 home runs, he'll always be welcomed in a new place. [...]

"To say that I was angry at Manny? No. I was disappointed that he wanted to leave," Youkilis said. "We wanted to win another World Series. But on the other end, it was a great thing, too, because Jason Bay came here and had a great year, so you can't be too mad.

"Back four, five years ago, I probably would have gotten more angry about stuff like that. I think guys were frustrated because they didn't understand why he wanted to leave."

But leave Ramirez did, twice now on unhappy circumstances within just the last three seasons. He has only been with the White Sox a few days, so his new teammates don't know him all that well. Beckham says he's only exchanged pleasantries with the new designated hitter, nothing more than this:

"I'm told him we're happy to have him," Beckham said. "He said, 'Yeah, I'm happy to be here.' Then I told him, 'Now go get a hit.'"

Ah, there's that word "hit" again. And that's the extent of the relationship Ramirez is likely to form with the rest of the White Sox. He will hit. And they will enjoy him for as long as he does.

So the charade begins anew, because excuses always get made for blinding talent.

Yes, former teammates display more objectivity than SI's biased reporters (who could hardly be classified as "blinding talent," to be fair. But wait, the Manny fires get stoked further, as Dan Shaughnessy sharpens his fountain pen:

Manny's early days in Los Angeles were heavenly. He carried the Blue to the playoffs. He cultivated a few reporters and got great reviews. Dodgers owner Frank McCourt said it was a pleasure to et to know Manny and put a charity "Ramirez Clause" in all Dodger player contracts.

Now Manny has quit on the Dodgers. After the early Manny Mania with "Mannywood" and Manny wigs and fawning fans and media, Manny quit again. He got himself suspended for taking female fertility drugs. In his final Dodger at bat last week, he was asked to pinch hit with the bases loaded in Colorado. After taking a called strike, he argued with the ump and got himself ejected. That was it for Manny in Los Angeles.

After playing for patient managers (Terry Francona and Joe Torre) who excused his actions, Manny gets to play for Ozzie Guillen, perhaps the only active baseball manager capable of behavior more bizarre than Manny. This is going to be fun to watch. And we get to see it at Fenway tonight, Saturday and Sunday as the White Sox come to Boston still hoping to catch the Twins in the American League Central.

It's harder for Manny to hit now that it's harder to juice.

Testing is not his friend. Some of the power and skill is gone.

But he's still Manny. And it will end badly in Chicago, just as it did in Boston and Los Angeles.

I can almost picture Shaughnessy walking around the SI offices with a sandwich board that says "the end is near". And I figure the two of them were delighted to hear Ramirez was plunked twice last night, the second time of which drove Ramirez out of last night's game:

Chicago, which started the day trailing the Minnesota Twins by 3 1/2 games in the AL Central, already had Paul Konerko and Gordon Beckham sidelined by injuries. Then the White Sox lost starting pitcher Freddy Garcia and designated hitter Manny Ramirez to injuries during Tuesday night's 9-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers. [...]

Detroit rookie reliever Robbie Weinhardt made things more interesting with a double error in the eighth when he misplayed a grounder and then threw the ball into the stands. Then he knocked Ramirez out of the game by hitting him with a pitch - the second time Ramirez had been hit in the game - but got out of the inning with a double play.

Vultures on carrion, I tell you.

23 comments:

Josh S. said...

I'll say it again (slowly) because it bears repeating:

Manny.
Didn't.
Quit.
On.
The.
Dodgers.

The.
Dodgers.
Quit.
On.
Him.

Fred's Brim said...

If Dan Shaughnessy dyed his hair hot pink, Neeebs could use it for his next merkin-based avatar

Dusty Baker said...

Here's hoping Shaughnessy chokes on his own vomit in his sleep after being abused by a pack of recently-released inmates.

Good morning,everybody!

Mr. Customer said...

Yeah, I don't really get it.

I think these guys just had old hit pieces they had lying around from three years ago that they didn't want to go to waste.

Josh S. said...

I drove over a burnt-out mattress on my way in to work and immediately thought of my fellow SoSGers.

Dusty Baker said...

@Josh

All we are saying, is give pillow tops a chance.

rbnlaw said...

NO INNERSPRINGS WITH PILLOW TOPS,
NO PEACE!!

I'm still baffled at his ejection in Colorado. Manny didn't even seem to say much, and he gets tossed.
Of course, nothing is said about the previous two games when he was benched. This post just points out the shrinking relevance of SI and its overrated, hack writers.

Chad, what say ye?

Dusty Baker said...

Instapoll:

Who still reads SI?

1. Sax

Anyone else?

Mr. Customer said...

Was it one of the fancy ones that you can drive over and not spill the Molotov cocktail on the other side of the bed, Josh?

Mr. Customer said...

I read SI religiously every time I go to the dentist, Dusty.

Josh S. said...

I got a free SI subscription with my Gameday Audio purchase. Almost all of the issues went straight into the recycle bin unread. (Except, you know, THAT ONE.)

Josh S. said...

@Mr. C: It was a Burn Number bed. Choose the level of flame that's best for you!

Josh S. said...

From the SoSG wayback machine:

First appearance of "Epale!", Dodgers at Reds GT, 4/22/08.

Dusty Baker said...

Excellent research, Josh! Love it.

Dusty Baker said...

@Mr C

So I'll put you down for once every four years.

Mr. Customer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr. Customer said...

I'm not that much of an anglophile.

Mr. Customer said...

I especially like the quote from the teammate about his leaving...Boston.

Josh S. said...

Dodgers Poll, via Twitter:

Which of the following giveaway items would you come to a game for?

Dodgers Skateboard Deck
Dodgers-Jersey BBQ Apron
Dodgers Backpack
Diecast Dodgers Car
Dodgers Build a Bear
Dodgers Snuggie
Dodgers Soccer Scarf
Dodgers Floppy Hat
Mini Bobblehead
Dodgers Chip & Dip Platter
Dodgers Flaming Riot Mattress

Christ, did Arte Moreno buy the Dodgers when I wasn't looking? (I voted soccer scarf, btw.)

Fred's Brim said...

Dodgers painter's cap!

rbnlaw said...

Mini bobblehead?
Ryan Theriot mini-bobblehead night?

Dusty Baker said...

Gotta go with soccer scarf.

Alternately, I'll go to more games when they buy some more god damned players that put us in contention. Was there a place to write that in, Josh?

Steve Sax said...

Wow, am I the only person who still reads SI? I have to say, I really enjoy the print edition though I do not frequent the online edition.

In the magazine, every four issues or so there will be an article that nails it (the recent piece on stealing home was great).