"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Everything Ends Badly…

… otherwise, it wouldn’t end. The Red Sox stopped their skid today, thanks mostly to an alarmingly poor performance from Phil Hughes in a sloppy game all around, with a 9-6 win.

The other ending? Manny Ramirez’s career. Baseball strangest superstar announced his retirement today, and in what is likely no coincidence, also reportedly tested positive for “a banned substance” during spring training. It was his second strike, and would’ve resulted in a 100-game suspension had he not won an appeal. Joel Sherman reports that he told the Rays he needed to leave for family-related issues. He wasn’t the most reliable guy, but for years on end he was amazing to watch. It’s a sad way to end such an impressive career, but maybe fitting too. Although I think it’s important to remember that we still have very little concrete evidence of how much performance- enhancers of the kind Manny may have taken actually impact performance. Will we ever know if he’d have been as great without them? If not, how do we figure out how to view him? I’m not as appalled by steroids as some fans and writers are, but I do hate the uncertainty it injects into certain players’ careers. I think I would still vote Ramirez into the Hall of Fame, but I doubt that a majority of writers will agree, and I can understand that point of view too.

Back to today’s game, although it’s one most Yankee fans won’t want to dwell on. Two games would be far too small a sample size to draw any dire conclusions about Phil Hughes… except his velocity drop is strange, and seems to me to indicate some sort of injury. Neither the Yankees nor Hughes has indicted any such thing, that’s just my instinct, because 24-year-old starters don’t typically just lose 3 or 4 mph off their fastball in the space of an offseason for no reason. So, yes, I am concerned.

Things started well enough for the Yankees, with Robinson Cano’s double plating Alex Rodriguez and Brett Gardner for an early lead. But it was clear from the start that Hughes didn’t have it; not only his velocity, but his control, as pitchers were flying across the middle of the plate. Dustin Pedroia homered in the first, and after the Yankees tacked on another run in the next inning – I should point out here that John Lackey was also awful for the Sox — Boston batted around, piling up 5 runs via death-by-singles for a 6-3 lead. Bartolo Colon came in for Hughes in the third and was actually quite effective, much to my surprise. But although the Yankees did eventually tie the game, with one run over each of the next three innings including an Alex Rodriguez homer, and Colon kept the Sox to one earned run over 4.1 innings, it wasn’t enough. Boone Logan was ineffective again in the 7th, the Sox made in 9-6, and the Yankees couldn’t muster anything much against Boston’s pen. So, the Red Sox are the owners of a shiny 1-6 record and we’ll try this again tomorrow.

In the meantime, pour some out for Manny, who was many things but certainly never dull.

Categories:  Emma Span  Game Recap  Yankees

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1 The Hawk   ~  Apr 8, 2011 7:07 pm

Before the series began I thought I wouldn't be surprised if the 0-6 REd Sox sweep the Yankees. Not saying it'll happen, but I wouldn't be surprised

2 stormer   ~  Apr 8, 2011 7:52 pm

It won't happen.

3 Dimelo   ~  Apr 8, 2011 8:00 pm

Steroids or not, Manny was a great hitter. I don't get too emotional over what PEDs he may have taken, or any player for that matter. All the best to him.

4 RIYank   ~  Apr 8, 2011 8:09 pm

[3] Yep, with you.

And he could be an asshole, it's true. But he also struck me as a real, ordinary-but-weird, mildly crazy guy who could play baseball. And man could he play.

5 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Apr 8, 2011 8:15 pm

[4] Agreed. I never care about the off-the-field things (except DUI's). Manny was one of the great hitters of all time. Was always terrifying and thrilling to see him come up against the Yankees. How many guys in our lifetime will have that effect?

6 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Apr 8, 2011 8:16 pm

Read the game recap. Hughes is really worrying..Lackey stinks, shame they couldn't bash this one out. Oh well, they'll get them tomorrow!

7 monkeypants   ~  Apr 8, 2011 8:23 pm

[5] I never care about the off-the-field things

Except of course with Manny it was all on the field things, whether it be use of banned substances or Manny-being-Manny. Now, maybe those things aren't worth thinking about, let alone holding against him or seen as detracting from his resume. But what pissed off most people about Manny was certainly what he did on the field, not off.

8 Just Fair   ~  Apr 8, 2011 8:26 pm

Glad I missed this one. Stay away forever, Manny. You and your stupid bullshit will not be missed by me. Never liked him. Never will. If he worked so hard off the field why couldn't he have shown a little effort running the bases and not being total clown shoes in fhe field. The fact that he quit on his team and threw down a 60 year old traveling secretary just adds to my hatred of him. Dickhead.

9 Sliced Bread   ~  Apr 8, 2011 8:37 pm

8) exactly

10 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Apr 8, 2011 8:38 pm

[7][8] .312/.411/.585 for his career. 2 WS rings. On the field this guy was one of the best ever. People who harp on his bad D or poor baserunning probably would prefer to have David Eckstein on their team. I'll take Manny every time and have zero regrets. Just Fair, you don't have those career stats without showing effort..I really don't understand your comment.

Been plenty of huge A-holes in baseball history (think it was fun to be around the Babe all the time?) As to banned substances..we've been over this before. How many great players took greenies and bennies in the 60s and 70s?

11 Sliced Bread   ~  Apr 8, 2011 8:41 pm

His drugs don't bother me nearly as much as his arrogance, and the rest of his b.s. I'm so thankful he never landed here, and I didn't have to root for him. Good riddance.

12 Shaun P.   ~  Apr 8, 2011 8:45 pm

[7] Yes, but that's like knowing only a hitter's batting average and deciding he's an awesome player. I understand it, but I don't agree with it.

I must admit - all day I have been wondering - if Manny's name was John Jones and he was born in Nebraska, would overall public opinion of his antics be the same?

13 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Apr 8, 2011 8:49 pm

[12] It's hard not to wonder that. Also a generational thing. My pop and guys from his era worshiped Mickey Mantle..a drunk, brawler, chronic philanderer and generally not a very nice guy from almost all accounts. He's still considered a hero to so many.

14 Shaun P.   ~  Apr 8, 2011 8:53 pm

[13] Which brings up a point I made earlier today - we don't really know these guys, not 100 percent. I feel hesitant to judge them with incomplete information.

15 Sliced Bread   ~  Apr 8, 2011 8:56 pm

Manny's race has nothing to do with his negative rep. People who hate him love other players from the same island. He's just a douche regardless of where he's from. To think otherwise, or to use race to rationalize the criticism he receives is nonsense.

16 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Apr 8, 2011 9:01 pm

[15] So so many baseball players a d-bags..who cares? Judge a player on his on-field actions and that's enough, isn't it? Also, if you think race/nationality is not a factor in media coverage of Bonds, Manny, McGwire, Pettite, Clemens, etc..well, I would respectfully disagree. It's a part of the picture, not the whole picture of course.

17 monkeypants   ~  Apr 8, 2011 9:07 pm

[13] Again, you miss the point. As far as I know, while Mantle may have been a dirtbag off the field, he was not so on the field.

But Manny being Manny had nothing to do with him being a drunk or brawling off the field or or womanizing. It had everything to do with his antics on the field that rubbed people the wrong way.

I'm not taking a stand on Manny one way or another. i am only pointing out the incorrectness of the implication of your post at [5], that Manny being Manny, etc. comprised off the field things.

18 monkeypants   ~  Apr 8, 2011 9:10 pm

[10] I don't deny the numbers or his place among baseball's greatest hitters. In fact, I don't believe I ever raised the issue.

But, despite your protestations (see also [15]) what irritated may observers about Manny was the way he behaved on the field (and that includes his use of PEDs, for those who care about that sort of thing).

19 monkeypants   ~  Apr 8, 2011 9:11 pm

[16] BTW, since it only took a few posts for this thread to bring up race...

What precisely is the category "race/nationality"?

20 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Apr 8, 2011 9:12 pm

[17] But I don't understand what people mean when they say his "on the field antics". You mean the career 154OPS+? The 555 home runs? Leading the Red Sox to TWO world series championships? Media members who focus on a handful of poor/indifferent plays in the outfield or on the basepaths are not really fans of baseball. They want a Norman Rockwell painting come to life.

21 Sliced Bread   ~  Apr 8, 2011 9:13 pm

16) from where Im sitting, McGwire and Clemens are as despised as Bonds over the drug thing. Me personally? The drugs aren't an issue. I suspected they were all using back in that era, and I went out of my way to fly to San Fran to see Bonds hit his 69th in '01, and cheered my ass off when he hit it.

That said, i'm a white Yankees fan who never liked Clemens. Never wanted him, and begrudgingly gave him credit for his contributions while he was here.

Manny was a special kind of douche. I didn't like anything about him - his approach to the game, the way he showed up pitchers, the way he went about his business on and off the field. I feared, and respected his talent as an opponent, but I did not like him, and don't think I could have rooted for him in a Yankees uniform. In other words, fuck Manny.

22 RIYank   ~  Apr 8, 2011 9:16 pm

It's possible that he would have got the same criticism if he were Nebraska John Jones. But what people say about him sure does fit Latino stereotypes. I don't know how someone can confidently say his background has nothing to do with it.

23 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Apr 8, 2011 9:16 pm

[21] I hear ya, and fully compute. I just don't like the phrase "approach to the game"..anyone with Manny's career stats clearly approached the game the right way! :)

24 RIYank   ~  Apr 8, 2011 9:23 pm

[23] Here's the thing. There were aspects of his performance (and I mean on the field, not in front of the media!) that made people think that maybe he didn't give a crap. And in a way that was true, I think -- he didn't take the game as seriously as, say, Jeter does. But he loved baseball, and I believe that at least some of what looked like lack of interest was in fact a kind of mindlessness. His mind would sometimes wander, though not when he was batting.

He also seemed to be less than ideally interested in other people, which is a whole different thing. When a player treats a low-level team employee like his servant, that sucks, and nobody will or should defend his behavior. But, as you say, Mr. OK, some HoF heroes were dickheads sometimes, too.

25 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Apr 8, 2011 9:27 pm

[24] I don't think anyone except for Manny himself knows about how hard he tried. Again, you don't put up stats like that without a LOT of practice and dedication.

His treatment of club employees was offensive and totally revealing of his douchebaggery. But that really doesn't interest me much as a fan..I'd rather have the great player who is an a-hole over the gritty-gutty-gentlemen who stinks..

26 Sliced Bread   ~  Apr 8, 2011 9:27 pm

23) fair enough, his approach to the game is a cliche that probably shouldn't apply to a Hall of Fame hitter ( no question I would vote for him first ballot) . But he gave the impression that he was taking his talent for granted, and I would advise young players not to emulate his style of play - regardless of their abilities.

27 Sliced Bread   ~  Apr 8, 2011 9:33 pm

24) maybe you have a deeper understanding of him, but I saw a lot of him, and was so put off by what I saw that I couldnt really appreciate him. My loss or his, it's too bad that a player of his talent created such a divisive character.

28 Just Fair   ~  Apr 8, 2011 9:35 pm

[10] Mr Ok JT, His hitting ability was otherwordly, but it does nothing to sway my complete and total animosity towards him. For someone who broke his ankle on first base a week before college trying to beat out an infield grounder, Manny's lack of effort ouside of the batting box was junk. His other onfield stuff like diving to cutoff Damon's throw or taking a piss behind the green monster, or watching 3 straight Mo heaters b/c he could. Garbage never wanted so see him as a Yankee. He left two (three if the Rays got to know him enough) clubhouses that were not sad to see him go.

29 Shaun P.   ~  Apr 8, 2011 9:37 pm

[15] I completely disagree, for exactly the reason Mr OK Jazz said. The Boston media absolutely treated Manny differently because of the color of his skin. I am certain that did not impact how you thought about Manny, Sliced. It absolutely impacted some people, though, in the media and out

Its not an excuse for his actions. It is an open question as to how the general population perceives Manny.

[19] Since I'm the one who first typed the question that raised race, I'll ask - who else besides me & Mr OK Jazz wondered what I asked in [12]? I'm guessing we aren't alone.

30 monkeypants   ~  Apr 8, 2011 9:37 pm

[20] Media members who focus on a handful of poor/indifferent plays in the outfield or on the basepaths are not really fans of baseball.

Well, I'm glad you cleared that up. Does this include non-media types who may prefer a one aesthetic of the game over the other, or who believe in notions like sportsmanship.

That he showed up pitchers [21], was indifferent at times on the field [20] (whether a handful of times is debatable), and acted as if he didn't care [24] is not matter of dispute. That this bothers some people, observers and media types, should not surprise. That you would deny that such individuals are baseball fans is stunning.

Beyond all of this, you still have the PED issue. Again, I am not taking a side on the issue per se. But it is clearly an "on the field issue" given that players use PEDs to improve on-field performance. Now, one may conclude that they have limited or even no impact, and therefore consider a player's usage the most minor of transgressions. Others who feel more strongly about the issue will find greater fault with the player who juices. Whatever the case, it is clearly an on-the-field matter.

31 inOhio   ~  Apr 8, 2011 9:38 pm

Finding a similarity to players in the 60's taking greenies to today's players taking is like finding a similarity between your kid smoking a joint or mainlining smack. I don't recall any players in the sixties morphing into physical freaks of nature. Big difference.

WRT the Yanks, we all knew it would be a tough year. If Hughes is toast, and AJ being AJ, and Jeter washed up, if the team plays .500 ball it will be an achievement. But then again, I'm an optimist.

32 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Apr 8, 2011 9:39 pm

[28] JF, totally fair viewpoint. But I would say then that you place more emphasis on things like running out grounders (or, er..not pissing in the Green Monster) than I do. Baseball players play thousands of games. I don't have a problem with the occasional lack of hustle. Not everyone is Pete Rose (thank God..).

Also, many reports have shown the Red Sox completely sold him out. Guy won you two WS after 86 years of pain..you'd think they would owe him a bit.

33 inOhio   ~  Apr 8, 2011 9:39 pm

Sorry - should have written todays players taking "ROIDS".

34 Sliced Bread   ~  Apr 8, 2011 9:40 pm

22) my all- time favorite player is Bernie Williams, and I've never disliked a baseball player more than I disliked Manny. One's from Puerto Rico, the other is Dominican. Do you really think race, or nationality, or DNA, or any of those factor into my feelings for these players?

35 monkeypants   ~  Apr 8, 2011 9:43 pm

[25] Again, you don’t put up stats like that without a LOT of practice and dedication.

I say bullshit. We can't know how much effort or practice or dedication relate to greatness. I can no more conclude that a great player tries hard than a poor player is lazy and indolent.

In fact, I'd like to think that a professional athlete in the best league in the world tries hard all of the time, and by and large most players do seem to give it their all on most every play. The fact that even defenders of Manny grant that he visibly slacked off (or appeared to slack off) during games speaks volumes.

36 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Apr 8, 2011 9:43 pm

[30] I stand firm. People in the media who obsess over "playing the game the right way" and "respecting the game" are clearly not in love with baseball. They are in love with some idealized vision of "sportsmanship" (whatever that is) and "hustle". There is one "right way to play the game" and that is get on base and score. All the rest is manufactured bullshit. See the FJM archives for endless examples of what I am talking about!

37 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Apr 8, 2011 9:47 pm

[35] So you admit you are more concerned with "effort" than results on the field?

38 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Apr 8, 2011 9:50 pm

BTW, am watching the game on mlb..com archive now..Colon actually looked pretty good..is it possible he's got his stuff back? If Teix makes the play on the grounder then Colon may have put up all zeros...

39 monkeypants   ~  Apr 8, 2011 9:52 pm

[37] No I do not.

I am pointing out that Manny's apparent lack of effort stands out in particular, given that his critics call attention to it and his defenders even admit to it.

This evidence suggests that he as a player either gave less effort or, at least, gave the strong impression of giving less effort on the field. As such, it is perfectly understandable that for those individuals who place greater emphasis on effort would be rubbed the wrong way by Manny's actions on the field. And this only confirms, therefore, my initial observation.

40 RIYank   ~  Apr 8, 2011 9:54 pm


Do you really think race, or nationality, or DNA, or any of those factor into my feelings for these players?

I don't know. I suspect race enters into most people's feelings about most people they don't know personally. There's a lot of evidence for this in general, but maybe you're different. So I don't know.
But look again -- I wrote that I don't see how someone can confidently say that his background has nothing to do with people's perception of him. If you are confidently saying that, I'd sure like to know what you base it on.

41 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Apr 8, 2011 9:57 pm

[39] I'm not being deliberately obtuse here, I just don't get it..how can anyone think that a guy with 555 career home runs and such incredible slash stats did not "try".. was he just a space alien who possessed a natural ability to excel at baseball without trying?

A handful of over-reported, meaningless events (falling down in LF, the Mo strike out) somehow are more representative of a 18-year career than all the outstanding achievements?

42 Just Fair   ~  Apr 8, 2011 9:58 pm

[32] Just 'cuz you're making 25 million per year doesn't mean you can't take at least 4 90 ft. dashes over the course of a game. And I pretty sure the Nation sold their soul for those two WS but that's topic for antoher day. : )

43 monkeypants   ~  Apr 8, 2011 10:00 pm

[36] [37]

Now, if you are curious what I really think (i.e., going beyond the limited argument I have put forward):

I don't think that sportsmanship and professionalism, and effort and playing the game the right way, etc. are manufactured bullshit. I would like to think that as my children grow up I will be able to impart in them these values, and that should they play a sport (baseball, hopefully, but whatever they pursue), they will approach it from a perspective that transcends a results-only mentality.

With regard to Manny: in the end, in a professional sports league, result are the most important thing. The bottom line is what matters. Very capitalist in that manner. I have no doubts about his greatness as a player. But that does not mean that I have to appreciate entirely the way he went about his business, nor will I deny True Baseball Fan™ status of any individual who was bothered by Manny being Manny or Manny Using PEDs.

44 monkeypants   ~  Apr 8, 2011 10:06 pm

[41] I just don’t get it..how can anyone think that a guy with 555 career home runs and such incredible slash stats did not “try”.. was he just a space alien who possessed a natural ability to excel at baseball without trying?

Again, how can we know for certain? By your logic, the player with poor slash stats and a handful of career HRs must not have tried. But you really don't believe that, do you? We just don't know how much a player tries relative to the talent he has--whether he is an over-achiever, under-achiever, or plays to the best of his abilities (no more no less). So in general, I avoid making such judgements. Like I said, I assume that all professional athletes more or less try pretty hard.

What is so remarkable, though, is how universally everyone--critic and defender---believe that he didn't try very hard all of the time. That sticks out in comparison to almost every other player in the league both good and bad, and it suggest to me that Manny probably did not try as hard as other players relative to his talent.

Now, whether that is worth criticizing or not is another matter.

45 Hank Waddles   ~  Apr 8, 2011 10:10 pm

[1-44] While this Manny debate is terribly interesting (for the record, I say put him in the Hall), there's a much bigger issue that everyone's missing: why is that kitten so depressed? I just watched two minutes and fifty-four seconds of Depressed Kitten in a Bucket, and the questions just won't stop. How did the kitten get in the bucket? Why doesn't the kitten get out of the bucket? Why is the wash cloth on the kitten's head? Is the kitten hung over? Finally, and perhaps most confusing, why did I watch the entire video?

46 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Apr 8, 2011 10:12 pm

[44] We don't know whether a player tries all out on every play. Some players are so smooth it's hard to tell (Beltran, Cano). Others get their uniform dirty and get gritty/gutty accolades (Dusty P, Eckstein). All I really want to say about Manny is he produced such an incredible body of work that to focus on a mere handful of over-reported, meaningless lack of hustle events...it ignores the 98% of the time that he hit as well as any RH batter ever.

And lastly, he gets major points for me for peeing inside the Monster..I assume there is a urinal in there, but even cooler if there isn't.. :)

47 Sliced Bread   ~  Apr 8, 2011 10:14 pm

29) I don't know enough about the Boston media's treatment of Manny to dispute that, but my understanding is the Boston media brutalizes anyone, and anything to feed red meat to the fan base. They killed Buckner for a long time. They killed Clemens. They killed Nomar. They killed Pedro. They kill Drew. They'd kill their mothers if she said a kind word about the Yankees. The sports media in every big market is a brutal, and unthinking thing. You might be right, but I suspect Manny got killed in the Boston press for his douchebaggery, and because the administration on Yawkey Way wanted to run him out of town. I'm not sure how different things would be if Ramirez were Sullivan, but when I put it that way, I suppose you,re right.

48 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Apr 8, 2011 10:14 pm

[45] The Japanese text on the screen at the beginning of this video cleared it up for me. The kitten is just soaking in the hot water, it's his nightly bath. Japanese people often put a wet washcloth on their head while in the hot springs bath..it's kind of relaxing. I don't think he's depressed, just zoning out in the hot water :)

49 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Apr 8, 2011 10:17 pm

Jeter with another GIDP...sigh..

50 RIYank   ~  Apr 8, 2011 10:18 pm

[48] Dude. Kittens. Water. Think! The kitten is depressed. The video is highly disturbing.

51 monkeypants   ~  Apr 8, 2011 10:18 pm

[46] meaningless lack of hustle events

Only meaningless to you. Your assertion of there lack of meaning does not make it so for others. Indeed, one could easily argue that his 555 HRs are in fact meaningless (or at least relatively meaningless) on the grand scheme of things, since effort and sportsmanship and professionalism are the greater values.

52 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Apr 8, 2011 10:21 pm

[51] Jim Thome lollygagged it to first on a long fly against the Yanks the other night..Micheal Kay pointed it out to his credit..no other commentary except for what a great guy Thome is..what does this tell you?

53 monkeypants   ~  Apr 8, 2011 10:25 pm

[51] Hard to say. But given Thome's general reputation, and from my own eyes, it suggests an unfortunate lapse. If repeated over and over, among other antics, such that it earns a nickname (like, say, Thome being Thome), then I would think it a more serious breech of professionalism that would warrant greater censure by the community (i.e., fans and media).

What does it tell you?

54 monkeypants   ~  Apr 8, 2011 10:26 pm

[53] was for [52], of course.

55 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Apr 8, 2011 10:29 pm

You really think players with thousands of ABs in both the minors and majors hustle on every play? I am certain have seen Jeter fail to hustle on some ground outs..no comments by the announcers because it's Jeter. All MLB players do that time to time.

"Manny being Manny" is media created nonsense that does not interest me in the least. Again, his 18-year career cannot be reduced to several highly publicized "quirky" actions. It's like those idiots who disparage A-Rod because of the knocking the glove incident or (to go to another sport) take down Scottie Pippen because of the migraine game or the Kukoc call. Judge someone on their whole career!

56 Sliced Bread   ~  Apr 8, 2011 10:31 pm

40) alright RI, you win. But know this. MY feelings about Manny have NOTHING to do with race.

57 monkeypants   ~  Apr 8, 2011 10:42 pm

[55] In reality, players surely do slack off at times. But again, that Manny is universally noted for doing so by both critics and defenders suggests that he slacked off much more or much worse, or at least gave that impression both to critics and apologists.

For what it's worth, the term Manny Being Manny is credited not to a member of the media, but to his own manager, Mike Hargrove, in 1995! So even his manager at an early stage in his career identified his Manny-ness. I have a hard time believing, therefore, that such a reputation grew from only a handful of scattered incidents, let alone made up by the media.

58 monkeypants   ~  Apr 8, 2011 10:44 pm

[57] Judge someone on their whole career!

I believe that I am closer to judging him on his whole career, by also taking into account his well documented foibles, than are you who demand that we look exclusively at his batting stats and ignore everything else as meaningless!

59 monkeypants   ~  Apr 8, 2011 10:44 pm

[58] Grrr...I'm getting sleepy. This was for [55].

60 Sliced Bread   ~  Apr 8, 2011 10:46 pm

57) dude I just can't believe I can't dislike a fucking dick like Manny without racism, or bigotry coming into question.

61 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Apr 8, 2011 10:47 pm

[55] Universally noted? By whom, exactly? I don't recall a mass of teammates coming out to criticize him for his lack of hustle. In any case, the fact he may not get to the HOF because of drugs or asswipery is silly.

Oh, and Boone Logan stinks. Don't feel like watching Bard and Papelbon mow them down so think it's time to log off and get on with the day..

62 Sliced Bread   ~  Apr 8, 2011 10:50 pm

61) Logan sucks, and I've always been a Hughes believer, but this was a troubling performance.

63 Just Fair   ~  Apr 8, 2011 10:53 pm

[45] Ha. I saw that a couple of hours ago. It's nice to waste 2 1/2 minutes of one's life needing to see how a kitten in a bucket ends. I still can't figure out why the wash cloth sliding off its head did not spook it to jump out. Manny like concentration. : )

64 Bama Yankee   ~  Apr 8, 2011 10:54 pm

I'm with Sliced on this one, I never liked Manny and I'm glad the Yankees never got him. The dude sure could hit, but I never really thought he looked like he was giving it everything he had. I know you can't put up the numbers he did without giving some serious effort, but it just seemed to me like his head wasn't really always in the game.

Remember his quote from the 2007 ALCS: “It doesn’t happen, so who cares? There’s always next year. It’s not like it’s the end of the world.” At first I remember thinking that I wouldn't want someone with that attitude on my team, but then after thinking about it I wondered if that was part of his secret... He didn't let things bother him too much. He didn't think, he just went up there and raked (I always wanted Arod to take that attitude back when he was having trouble and I think he has to some extent now). I often think about this when I'm out in the backyard with my son playing ball. With no pressure and since I'm the best baseball player in the backyard, I look like a million dollars (it helps that my son is only six. lol). Put me and my son in Yankee Stadium in front of a huge crowd and a national tv audience...I might look a few bucks lower than a million... ;-)

Say what you want about Manny (and I've said plenty over the years), but he made the game look easy (maybe too easy). He just played the game like he was in the backyard...and maybe that was his secret.

65 monkeypants   ~  Apr 8, 2011 11:15 pm

[61] Yes, universally was an exaggeration. But surely the reputation was widespread such that you have been compelled to dismiss it as a media creation. If it were not widespread, there would be no need for your apologia.

For what it's worth, besides his manager in Cleveland (mentioned above) commenting on his Manny-ness in 1995, he has been criticized by teammates or former teammates: Papelbon, Schilling (two of your favorites!). Given how rare it is for players to comment negatively on teammates and former teammates, this is striking.

66 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Apr 8, 2011 11:28 pm

[65] Schilling?? The same guy who despised by the almost all the 93 Phillies for his selfishness??
C'mon, that was just to bait me! :)

[64] I so can't wait to play in the backyard with Jazz Jr.. (er, no backyards in Tokyo, I guess the local park will have to suffice)

67 Boatzilla   ~  Apr 8, 2011 11:53 pm

Manny was one of the greatest players AND of the greatest characters in the game. He's the very type of player that makes baseball interesting and fun to watch. It's difficult to comprehend why any one would not like to watch him. He among the few players who is a MUST-SEE at bat no matter who you are rooting for (others are A-Rod, Ichiro, Puljos, Bonds, etc.). I would drop anything to see Manny bat, and I bet most of you would too. That's the bottom line.

Jeter's a great player, always hussles and does some amazing things. He's a winner, no doubt. I thank the baseball gods we have him. But he's as boring as dry toast. I want him to get a him, I want him to make great plays, but I wouldn't drop everything to watch him bat. And Jeter is a man "who plays the game right, by gum."

Who among you Manny haters would rather watch Jeter bat, given that choice, or Thome for that matter (the all round good guy). If you don't say, Manny, you're a lier.

68 Boatzilla   ~  Apr 8, 2011 11:56 pm

But my big problem with Manny is that he's obviously an idiot. You have to be incredibly stupid to be caught TWICE for PEDs after all the fall-out and the new rules were imposed. Just just plain and simple stupidity.

69 Sliced Bread   ~  Apr 9, 2011 12:05 am

67) sorry, but you can't call me a liar for saying I'd rather watch a hitter with less talent, or less showmanship than a douche like Manny, because that's exactly how I feel.

70 Boatzilla   ~  Apr 9, 2011 12:07 am

[66] Dude, your crew is big enough for a family game. I've got to play some catch with Sachi this spring. I upgraded to a hard ball too fast and she took a grounder off her ankle last year. That was the last time we played catch.

71 Boatzilla   ~  Apr 9, 2011 12:10 am

[67] That's amazing. I'm sorry if I offend you. I prefer to see great players. I assumed that's why we all watch the pro game. And my other point is characters like Manny, who also have talent, are what make the game fun to watch.

72 Boatzilla   ~  Apr 9, 2011 12:14 am

[67] The players do call it "The Show." And showmanship is a big part of the game. Without talent, it looks silly, but when the player backs it up, why not have a little fun out there?

73 Sliced Bread   ~  Apr 9, 2011 12:15 am

71) I respect your opinion as much as I respect Manny's talent, but I don't like the guy. I won't miss him, and I think the game won't miss his antics regardless of his talent.

74 Evil Empire   ~  Apr 9, 2011 12:17 am

Sitting here late at night reading all the heartfelt love for Manny just made me vomit in my mouth. He was Red Sock who killed our team with his bat, who wasn't all that likable, "unhustled" his way out of beantown and used PED's. Are Sox fans going to miss Jeter? Posada?

My last words to Manny are fuck him in the damn ear and good riddance.

75 Just Fair   ~  Apr 9, 2011 12:17 am

[67,69] Indeed. Give me a Jeter ab any day of the week. He's going to be the first Yankees to get 3,000 hits for the his career in pinstripes. Fuck Manny . He's a talented asshole who cares about ...i have know idea. Jeter wanted to get a hit every ab just like Manny did. But when Jeter rolled over an outside pitch and at least made it close it first. Yeah, I'll take a Jeter ab any day over Manny's bullshit posturing that's in the pic of this post.

76 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Apr 9, 2011 12:23 am

[74] This may get me kicked off the Banter(!) but.. I love baseball more than I love the Yankees. And Manny was one of the best hitters ever. Simply put, he was a frightening, awesome player to watch and even when he killed us it was still thrilling as a fan. And again, the asshole part.. I mean c'mon, we all cheered for David Wells, Clemens and would've for Joe D too. All legendary jerks..

77 Evil Empire   ~  Apr 9, 2011 12:23 am

[17] And I can't appreciate a Yankee fan calling Mickey Mantle a "dirt bag"....Let he who is without sin cast the first stone and all of that stuff....Mantle was an alcoholic. Alcoholism is a disease. People who are alcoholics often do terrible things. Maybe it makes them terribly fractured people, and maybe it makes them sick. I don't know really, but I don't think anyone's really in a position to judge him individually, anymore than Newt Gingrich was in a position to judge Bill Clinton. Mantle was a human being with a lot of faults, but I can't cal him a "dirt bag."

Does the fact that Mantle cleaned up at the end, apologized to his family and openly sat as an example of what "not" to be count for anything? Does the fact that lots of people signed donor cards because of him count for anything? It does for me.

78 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Apr 9, 2011 12:24 am

[74] Oh Evil, my buddy Frank here in Tokyo, die-hard Boston fan, said he'll miss Jeter and Mariano when they go..you want to root against the best, don't you?

79 Boatzilla   ~  Apr 9, 2011 12:26 am

[75] I just don't understand where the venom comes from. The dude was a clown, not an ax murderer. I have been a Yankee fan since 1971, die-hard, and I love Jeter, no doubt. But I would still prefer to watch Manny (in his prime) bat, if I had to make a choice.

[74] However, I agree that Manny won't be missed. His last few years have not been pretty...and now he's going out on a sour note.

80 Evil Empire   ~  Apr 9, 2011 12:33 am

[78] No. I want Boston to clone Marco Scutaro 24 times and play him at every position and lose 120 games and finish last every year. Hell, the Jays or O's could be our rivals instead.

81 Just Fair   ~  Apr 9, 2011 12:36 am

[79] One guy is doing it like Carlin and the other guy is doing it like Carrot top.

82 Boatzilla   ~  Apr 9, 2011 12:36 am

[76] Jazz, I'm wrestling with that one. I used to say, "I don't watch baseball, I watch the Yankees." And I used to believe I love the Yankees more than baseball. But on the other hand, if I see a game going on a the local park, I always have to stop and watch. And no matter how bad the Mariners suck, I always try to catch Ichiro's at bats when the game's on here.

83 Boatzilla   ~  Apr 9, 2011 12:39 am

[81] I suppose I've been away too long. Who or what is Carrot Top?

84 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Apr 9, 2011 12:39 am

[80] No way man! Beating your rivals is way more satisfying than some team you haev no history with. I want Boston to be a great team..that always comes in second to us in heart-breaking fashion, thereby causing mass heartbreak in the Boston metro area.

[82] Boat, yes and yes. Same here. I'll contact you offline about the hanami tomorrow, though if weather is good may go to the demo in Koenji..

85 Evil Empire   ~  Apr 9, 2011 12:41 am

[76][82] I agree with that. I love the Yanks, but caught a Cubs game last Saturday at Wrigley Field and last night I saw the Biscuits in Montgomery (AA). I'm a baseball fan. But, sorry, I hate every player on my team's rival. Now, I will say I respect some of the old school guys like Ted Williams and Yaz, but the ones that are playing now I can't stand.

86 Evil Empire   ~  Apr 9, 2011 12:42 am

[83] Don't find out....it's way too upsetting.

87 Just Fair   ~  Apr 9, 2011 12:48 am

[83] Only one of the best comedians ever. He may not strike everyone's fancy, but he's damn talented. Just like Manny. Sorry, all. The dude simply chaps my ass. Manny, not Carrot Top. I saw him my sophomore year in college. But that's another story....

88 Boatzilla   ~  Apr 9, 2011 12:49 am

[86] Just looked it up. It's amazing what slips by the radar out here. True, that guy look offensive. Now, I'm wrestling with the analogy.

89 Boatzilla   ~  Apr 9, 2011 12:58 am

[84] Come by, man. Just for a couple of hours. It's for a good cause. Bring a new small toy or book, puzzle, crayons, etc., for the children of Tohoku. We are collecting to add to another charity's shipment going out next week.

91 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Apr 9, 2011 2:20 am

Anyways, enough Manny. Here's a local jazz treat for you all!


92 Eddie Lee Whitson KO   ~  Apr 9, 2011 3:16 am

late to this thread, my 2 bits.

1. Teix not making the stop on the DP was a big deal. That's a play he needs to make

2. Manny - hands-down the most entertaining player of his generation and slightly ahead of Edgar Martinez for best RH hitter of his time. Think the frustrating stuff is fair to call out - arbitrarily not playing, loafing on the bases, butchering LF - and in his best years his bat made up for all of it. M-B-M. An entire fan base rationalised and even romanticised this childish on field behavior. It's a simple premise I've seen many times in the corporate world. The magic justifies the misery. A co-worker who is so bloody good at what they do that their shortcomings are overlooked.

93 Chyll Will   ~  Apr 9, 2011 3:22 am

I can't believe in all this back-and-forth that no one even thought to mention Jose Canseco as the straw man to everyone's argument. Great big hitter and one-time super star, Latino and totally admitted PED-user who outed several other big name players. Did anyone question his lack of hustle; he was no better than Manny in the outfield, in fact he's the subject of one of the most notorious misplays in baseball history... yet it's been written that he used steroids as a shortcut from actually working out. Canseco is the standard that most writers who are anti-PED hold all other players to who are suspected of or tested as using; hardcore and we know he was no angel. How hard are people comparing Manny to that standard and why?

I suspect that among most Yankee fans at least, the animosity is driven by how well Manny performed against the Yanks; the high emotions are tied with our hardcore fandom. If you're hating Manny because he's Latino, well you're hating your own team as well, so I highly doubt that occurs in our borders (which is to say it's not an unlikely premise, but highly unlikely on Banter). Manny, whether you think he's an entertainer or a douche, possesses the stats of a likely Hall of Famer if that's important, but then with PEDs the big debate of this generation is what it really takes to be a Hall of Famer; stats don't tell the whole story, so how important are they to a player's credentials nowadays, especially of you have perhaps a majority faction of moralists deciding who gets in and who is barred from even asking for directions?

For the record, I think both sides of this argument made a few valid points, which makes it hard to decide how I feel about Manny, but I will say it's unfair to label someone as prejudiced if they heavily criticize him, because Manny deserves as much criticism as he does praise. On the same token, I don't believe his on the field performance or stats make him a certified Hall of Famer; with this being the second time testing positive for PED use, you have to question not only how he arrived at those stats, but his personal judgment.

Understand, he's no Ty Cobb when it comes to "interesting" personalities with HoF stats, but do you really admire or care for your children admiring a guy who makes the kind of decisions you wouldn't even consider on and off the field? No matter where you or he both come from, "Manny being Manny" has gotten old.

So ultimately, while I admired Manny at his best, he goes out on a rather sad and pathetic note; a former star player who lost the respect of teammates and many fans, tested positive twice for PED use late in his career and has nowhere to go after that. I decide to be indifferent about him, being a Yankee fan who has endured watching him beat up on my team for a long time, only to suspect he was lying to everyone while doing so. What's to root for or against when it's all in question?

94 Chyll Will   ~  Apr 9, 2011 3:33 am

[92] An entire fan base rationalized and even romanticized this childish on field behavior. It’s a simple premise I’ve seen many times in the corporate world. The magic justifies the misery.

Only when it's beneficial or profitable. Otherwise they would burn or fire that person in a heartbeat. Look how quickly many Boston fans and even some of his ex-teammates turned on him when he left town. It's all good until the margins fall into the red, which they eventually do (i.e. Ken Lay, Bernie Madoff, etc.).

95 RIYank   ~  Apr 9, 2011 7:38 am

From Chad Finn's Globe article:

Ortiz said that for all of the drama that accompanied Ramirez when he was a member of the Red Sox, his work ethic when it came to hitting should never be questioned.

"If you see Manny from the outside, your task will be totally different," Ortiz said. "But if you play with Manny Ramirez, I guarantee you that you’re going to look at a hard-working guy, a guy that tried to get better every day. He’s got his issues, like everybody knows. But as a player, he did what he was supposed to do."

(I think 'task' is a typo for 'take'.)

96 randym77   ~  Apr 9, 2011 9:20 am

I think Hughes will be okay. This happened last year, too. Everyone was wondering what happened to his velocity in spring training. As the fifth starter, he didn't have to pitch for a couple of weeks, and by the time he did, his velocity was back up.

Dunno if it's his off-season workout or just the cold weather, but he was fine after a slow start last year, and I think he'll be fine this year as well.

As for Manny...I'm with Sliced. I can only carry "root for the laundry" so far. May not be rational, but hey, I'm a fan, not a judge or jury. I don't have to be rational or impartial.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
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