Monday, July 28, 2008
The Defense Sags
Mea culpa. It’s over, no more excuses, no more rationalizing. It hurts too, the end of a love affair combined with the painful release of some long buried admittance. As much as I laughed and truly enjoyed much of the Manny-Being-Manny show (I’ve always been a sucker for baseball flakes), chuckled at the sometime little league base running antics, the space cadet outfield lapses, the mid-game bathroom breaks and cell phone calls, the home run showboating, the yearly Manny spring training watch, the seasonal hair styles, the man child persona, the overt aversion to the rules and regs the less talented majority adhered to, the sweetest of swings, the pinpoint batting vision, the opposite field chops, the seemingly effortless outfield assists, the genuine camaraderie and gamesmanship shared with batting partner Big Papi, I finally have to admit it’s ovaaaaaaaah. Quitting on the team (once again) as they entered in another Yanks-Sox tug-of-war, playing only after the threat of suspension, jump starting trade talks (once again) in the midst of a heated pennant race, the strangely pure unreliability that is at the core of Manny’s being, it’s all too much. I’m sure the Sox can’t or won’t unload him before the trade deadline, and I’m sure Manny will single-handedly win a few pivotal games with his bat as the season rounds the final corners, but I think he has irrevocably damaged this squad’s internal chemistry, and I think his selfishness has finally outgrown his talent and charm. Do I want to see Manny stroking powerful liners in another uniform? No, even the conjured image sickens my stomach.. Do I want to continue rooting for a player who has no concept of team, or loyalty, or the simple instinct for doing the right thing? Finally, resoundingly, painfully, no.