Manny at the Bat

The mighty Manny has struck out.

Manny.jpg

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

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3 comments

  1. devilabrit

    Manny definitely put up number while at the Sox Nation, but to me it’s clouded since his link to PED’s, it’ll be like A-Rod his link to PED’s will always doubt his real value, and A-Rod is still listed as one of the top sports personalities that people dislike as unfair as that is he’s on the list with McGwire, Roethlisberger, Vick and Woods.

    -peter
    Phillies Outside

  2. bklyntrolleyblogger

    I’m with you! What Manny and Papi did for that block of years was special. Those years did more to re-energize me than anything else at the time. When they leave and comeback it’s always weird and hard to predict fan reception. I remember when Strawberry came back as a Dodger and we boo’d like heck. When he homered, we gave him a standing-O. And yes…the PED’s are always in the back of my mind. I still don’t know what to make of the whole era.
    mike
    http://thebrooklyntrolleyblogger.mlblogs.com/

  3. junojen

    I will give Manny his due. He definitely led our 2004 and 2007 teams to World Championships. The Big Papi-Manny duo was a lethal combination.
    .
    But I will never forgive him for his behavior and comments in July 2008. No – he’s not my brother or son or friend. And I don’t think I really took his comments personally (remember the comment “They don’t deserve me”?).
    .
    I just lost all respect for the babyman. It’s okay if he decided he wanted to be traded. Look at Oswalt this season. There is a way to go about it and Manny did it all wrong. jmho. That is why I rarely mention him on my blog and when I do, I usually refer to him as “He Who Shall Remain Nameless.”
    .
    Jen
    http://faithful.mlblogs.com

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