Non-baseball fans, feel free to skip this post, there’s no need for nasty comments as I won’t publish them.
Preface: For some great “Manny Being Manny” stories, check out his wikipedia entry’s section on it…
The Cleveland Indians are a win away from sending Boston home and advancing to the World Series.
During game 4 after the Tribe played an incredible 7 run, bottom of the 5th inning, the BoSox came alive as Youkilis and Big Papi homered.
Then Manny knocked one out of the Jake. (Fast-Forward to -0:20 to watch his celebration)
The national media, as well as Beantown and Cleveland fans, united in criticizing Manny Ramirez for “preening” and “admiring it for a few seconds like a golfer watching a 70-foot putt heading into the hole.” You just don’t do that when you’re still losing 7-3 and about to fall behind 3 games to 1.
Here’s one excuse suggested by a fan from Red Sox Nation,
“When Manny went deep, my first thought was, ‘Quit posing, Manny, we’re still down 7-3.’ Then it dawned on me that Manny probably had no idea what the score was. In fact, he probably isn’t aware that baseball games are determined by which team scores more runs.”
Today, Manny got himself into more trouble when he was asked about the possibility of losing the series,
“It doesn’t happen, so who cares? There’s always next year. It’s not like it’s the end of the world.”
He has my forgiveness, and the reason for that takes me for a trip down memory lane…
Manny played 8 great years with the Tribe, but what I’ll always remember will be the encounter I had with him as a 10 year old at the Westin Harbour Castle (No, we weren’t there to get Starwood points, it’s simply the hotel that the Indians stay at when playing the Blue Jays!) in Toronto in August of 1995.
My brother (age 8 at the time) and I were having the time of our lives getting signatures from the players of the excellent, World-Series bound team. We had gotten everyone’s John Hancock except Albert Belle, (He was really mean and actually screamed at us for having the chutzpah to ask for a autograph) Eddie Murray, (Who simply ignored us) and Manny (Who we somehow hadn’t bumped into)
Retrospectively, perhaps many of the players were so nice to us because they were together with their families for that series…
We had some interesting neighbors, on our left was Jim Thome, who was quite friendly, and on our right was Jim Poole, whom I hated and had already nicknamed “the nightmare on the mound.” (He would go on to give up the only run scored in the 6th and final game of the ’95 World Series against the Braves.)
On the day of the last game we were in the elevator about to go up to our room when a guy calls out to hold the elevator. Well, not just any guy, as soon as we pushed the “open door” button we realized that the man who just walked in was none other than the 23 year old Man-Ram himself. We shyly asked him for his autograph, which he readily gave to us. Then he asked, “So, do you guys have tickets to the game tonight?” We actually didn’t have enough tickets for the whole family, so we told him that we didn’t. “Well, let me take down your name and I’ll leave 6 tickets for you at the box office.” He came through and our whole family was able to enjoy the game, courtesy of the “Baby Bull.”
So, Manny, for all I care you can act all you want when you go yard. Just don’t beat us, OK?