Manny Ramirez Deserves Better From Red Sox Nation

October 22, 2011
National League West
by David Jackmanson

Manny Ramirez is back from his 50-game suspension for violating baseball’s performance-enhancing drugs policy and he is back where he belongs: on the field, entertaining the masses. Clearly, Dodgers fans have embraced Manny and decided to overlook his mistakes. Leftover bobbleheads from Manny Ramirez Bobblehead Night at Chavez Ravine can currently be found on eBay for nearly 0.

Tickets are selling out regularly and if you want to see the circus for yourself, only Golden Circle Tickets can secure the best Los Angeles Dodgers tickets available for you and your family.

So what? He tested positive for a banned female fertility drug which indicates he was either expecting a child or replenishing the testosterone depleted in his system after cycling off steroids.

So what? When he was with the Red Sox, he decked a 60-year old ex-Navy SEAL travel secretary who could not accomodate his request for over a dozen tickets to a game in Houston. If you think this was less than a fair fight, throw a punch at Jesse Ventura and see what happens.

So what? He dogged it during his final days in Boston in order to force a trade out of town since Red Sox ownership would not even consider a multi-year extension.

Adding a future Hall of Famer and perhaps The Greatest Right-Handed Hitter of All Time to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the weakened NL West made them instant favorites to win the pennant and represent the National League in the World Series.

Boston’s loss is Hollywood’s gain. Hollywood appreciates Manny for what he is: an entertainer, no different than Tom Hanks or Michael Jackson. All that matters is what they do on the big stage. Their personal lives our none of our business.

“I didn’t kill or rape nobody.” Manny Ramirez’ statement may have been flippant, but there is truth there. Baseball is not a matter of life and death. To the contrary, baseball is our escape from life and death. There is more anomisity directed at Manny Ramirez than there ever was towards those responsibile for misleading the American public about WMD in Iraq.

Consider all that Manny did for Boston. The 2004 World Series MVP secured the first Red Sox championship since 1919, effectively burying “The Curse of the Bambino” forever. You would think a city so desperate to get that monkey off its back would be eternally grateful towards its eccentric slugger, extending his contract for life and renaming Logan Airport to Manny Ramirez International Airport.

Instead? Ownership jerked Manny around with three consecutive years of team options on his contract. Free agents are used to over-performing in a contract year. Players routinely try harder – for lack of a better phrase – in order to earn the most lucrative contract possible. In Manny’s case, if he performed at this level, he would have his contract extended for a single season for a previously agreed upon number of dollars. The process would then repeat itself the following year and the year after that.

What would happen if he had a sub-par year? The Red Sox could have released him from their team with no financial penalty, leaving him a free agent in search of a new contract while coming off a lousy year. This was a lose-lose situation for Manny.

There is blame to be shared on both sides. Manny’s agent negotiated the contract and Manny signed his name to the contract. If they didn’t like the idea of three consecutive option years, they should never have agreed to it. Manny did not have to fake injury to stay out of games in order to force a trade.

To paraphrase Chris Rock, I’m not saying he should have punched a 60-year old ex-Navy SEAL, but I understand.

No region of the country was more gleeful than New England when it was announced Manny Ramirez was banned for fifty games. Bob Ryan and Dan Shaughnessy have been waiting for the other shoe to drop since the minute he left town. What have you done for them lately, Manny?

Every home run he hit, their blood boiled. They seethed with every joke he told in a press conference. “Just wait,” they’ll tell you, “he’ll break your heart, too.”

Sorry, Boston. He’s just not that into you. He has already stated that he is more comfortable in Los Angeles than he ever was in Boston. Should the Los Angeles Dodgers win the World Series either this year or next year with Manny Ramirez batting cleanup, Dodgers owner Frank McCourt will build a golden statue of Manny in his prized parking lot.

We appreciate our stars in Los Angeles despite their obvious flaws. Hugh Grant and Divine Brown. So what? Michael Jackson and Macauley Culkin? So what? Mel Gibson and the Jews? Oh, that’s just silly ol’ Mel.

In the grand scheme of things, Manny didn’t kill nobody and he sure as heck didn’t rape nobody. Love him or hate him, we all want to watch him hit dingers. See him hit the long ball for yourself. Contact Golden Circle Tickets today for the best Los Angeles Dodgers tickets available every night.

Brett Golbert is a self-proclaimed media expert based out of Los Angeles.

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