The mighty Manny has struck out.
I thought yesterday was about forgiveness. Not to be too sentimental.I love Manny. Nothing was better than the Papi-Manny duo. In those years, as mentioned on the 98.5 the Sports Hub radio preview show, with Manny the Red Sox led the majors in postseason runs. You know all the numbers. You heard the Manny! Manny! on-their-feet chants right before he hit the ALDS rocket to beat the Angels.The fans were delirious that night.
But as I implied, I voted for a standing ovation, in that mix of over 10,000, yes 10,000, votes on Boston.com. Everyone has been snarling about how he left, thus perhaps forgetting all the numbers and glory of 04 and 07, and perhaps taking it all too personally. He’s not our brother, uncle, son, etc. and we shouldn’t treat it that way. I know. I already said I love Manny, which might imply that I think of him as my brother or imaginary friend or something else. In one of my more impulsive comments on Boston.com I also barked back that Manny was our Reggie.New York despised Reggie until his three homers in the ’77 series.
What is important, too, is how one returns. Professor Cafardo at the Globe has mentioned some important pieces of the whole ritual yesterday.Manny ignoring people he has known for years and deciding not to speak to the press all weekend is objectionable. More importantly, as a fan, I think he could have waved or tipped his hat. He could have learned something from the way The Johnny Demon so graciously bowed and tipped his hat before he stepped into the box to almost everyone on the field, including the ball girls.
In anticipation of his return, I sent one of those celebrity calls from Manny to my girlfriend. We had a good laugh. And then I bought a Mannywood t-shirt. I wanted to celebrate. Instead, I am waiting for Godot. Full of contradictions in my fanhood. (As uncle Walt Whitman wrote: “Very well then, I contradict myself”)
If I can put any of this to rest, I must say the gap, the missing piece, the anti-climax, was Manny going up to the plate as he did, all business. We can argue that this is why Manny is that kind of player and nothing is going to distract his on-field game. Manny missed it. He struck out to end the game, too. That’s symmetry for you.
The mighty Manny has struck out. Somewhere, men are laughing, and little children shout. Some of us in Mannyville are sad, a bit sullen, somewhat down and out.
The Red Sox won. Onto the next one.
on the ipod, (always unplanned but strangely coincidental): It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue, Bob Dylan