My Letter To Dan Shaughnessy about Manny Ramirez

I don’t even know if I spelled his name right, but I sent him an email about his recent Manny-bashing. Everyone is bashing Ramirez, and he has done nothing that pretty much every player has been doing since free agency. I know its bad timing for all of this, and its not like Theo Epstein wanted him. But here is the email.

This is all of his recent articles. The one I am writing about are the ones before the trade about Manny, and the Manny-mania one.

Note: Digression. Sometimes I think of the Manny-Epstein relationship like a huge party at the nerd’s house, and the nerd constantly tries to get rid of the sexy-but-crazy jock who just blows coke and eats the roommates’ food out of the fridge. Just a random thought.

The Email To Shaughnessy:

Let me just start out by saying that over the past week, I feel as though I have been completely let down by the sports journalism in our town. For a story, although murky in terms of the opaqueness of the Red Sox front office, to be so important and so serious for Boston sports, the main journalists of the area had gone out of their way to portray Manny Ramirez as a bad guy without giving credit to the importance of all the story’s facts.

For one thing, it seems you have gone out of your way to highlight that Ramirez missed two games. What is more egregious is that you failed to list the number of games that Manny Ramirez had missed ( in your article, you just state “games”, giving an impression that Manny missed a whole bunch more than he actually did ). You had wrote an article before the trade bashing Ramirez and all of his antics.

You had used a quote from our State Secretary, as though this guy is a true representation of all Red Sox fans. You had stated that Manny Ramirez “flattened”, not pushed or shoved, but “flattened” the traveling secretary ( and you my friend have written the 15th article about Jack McCormick without mentioning he was a former State Trooper ). You berated him for criticizing management for not being honest with his contract. You had called him missing the 1st game of the Yankees series “despicable”, as though this was the most egregious offense any player can do to the Red Sox.

Throughout most of your stories, it was clear that you left out the obvious connections for the events leading up to his trade: The team’s option, and Scott Boras’s influence. You had failed to separate the incident between Jack McCormick and his incidences with missing games. Although I can see this being a headache on the front office, I would have no trouble separating these issues with the journalistic knowledge that he could be missing games to prove a point to management.

Scott Boras is his agent, and you wrote in the story that clearly the agents makes no money if the option is taken up. Also, on Peter Gammons’ blog, he had talked about how Ramirez was telling his teammates he could receive 4 years/ $100 million this off-season. Are you going to tell me that these antics, along with Boras’s plea that Manny will play better if they let go of the options, are some important pieces to the whole Manny story.

Ok, so we can admit that Manny is money-hungry. But does this make him more of a bad person than players who look for their best interest in the off-season? He did it during a pennant race because Boras and Manny felt that if the options can be dropped at any time, why not before the deadline ( where the Red Sox can say they won’t re-sign him, or he will go to a team that will say the same thing ). At the same time, Ramirez is looking to make $25 million a year ( which I highly doubt he will receive ). You think that a player, who screwed up his financial future with another agent, is going to pass up more money over his teammates?

Bad timing, I agree. But there are no saints when it comes to the business of baseball, and Manny Ramirez shouldn’t be the poster boy of doing what essentially every person on the field and in the front office is doing.

My question is, do you really think Manny would half-ass the rest of the season, and at the same time, tight-rope his statistics and his attitude to reap such a big contract? Wouldn’t you think that the best time to cause a stir would be in July and not in September, when the team is ACTUALLY in the race, and not 60 games away? Do you believe that his actions are somehow more heinous than other players who leave teams for bigger contracts?

It is conceivable that this move can allow Ramirez to make $20-60 million more guaranteed money. Do you think he is going to let that money up over a team that has tried to get rid of him for four years? Do you think he has to respect a front office that has put their best player on waivers? What makes it really scary, is that I don’t believe the Red Sox were going to pick up his contract, seeing that they have tried to get rid of the same yearly amount when he was younger. They knew what Boras wanted, and they held mum because they didn’t want him anymore.

The Red Sox had leverage, and had the right, to not speak about his contract until the off-season. But if there is even a hint that they pick up the option, it screws Manny’s chances of a big contract and Boras’s chances to get any money. By the Red Sox holding firm on an option they weren’t planning to pick up any way, weren’t the Red Sox at fault for calling the bluff when a concession would’ve been better for both sides? The front office is not hired to hold grudges, or run people out of town. Their job is to place the best players on the field. Did they think they made the best trade, by paying for both Ramirez and Jason Bay’s contract, not picking up a reliever, and losing their best hitter in the lineup? I only agree with this trade since I believe Bay was a player Epstein had his eyes on longer than we know, but that is another OBP-Moneyball story for another day.

They traded him, and they got Bay. I have no qualms with that. But I have an issue with the Boston media that has trivialized the Scott Boras influence, and has grossly overlooked the Gordon Edes article that clearly states the Manny camp intentions.

In your article, you ask Boston fans if my blood is boiling, and I will respond with a loud yes. I am saddened that Manny had to depart, but I find the fault not to be equal on both sides, but to be heavily pointed to Theo Epstein. He did not want Ramirez; he never wanted Ramirez. And he got his wish. And we lost a star.

People lose their minds over his antics, and when someone asks, ” But what about our World Series championships?”, the response is usually an ambivalent shrug of “So what?” statements. From there, I can see that Boston fans have become too far-removed and big-headed to understand the contribution of some of their best players.

I can’t expect better from Ramirez, because he brought a championship to a city who had been in a dire drought of hoisting the World Series trophy. To call it even, to ship Manny off, and to equate it with Brett Favre, Nomar Garciaparra, or Roger Clemens, clearly shows how little we truly appreciate what Manny has done for us. The antics do not outweigh what he did. Maybe a couple of missed playoff berths will bring us back to that reality.

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I’ve Been Incredibly Busy

But I will come back with some good stuff in about a few days. I am sorry I have been putting my stuff on the back-burner. I have a lot to talk about, but very little time to sit in front of the computer. I’ll give away $10 to anyone who can tell me something that was different about Wakefield’s last start ( against Arizona ). Seriously, I will paypal it to you. If you can tell me something that was different, anything, I will give you $10.

Roger Clemens: Steroids, Human Growth, & VIAGRA?!

Roger Clemens & Viagara

Those Rafael Palmeiro commercials got to me! I am only a man…

This is one of those stories that is followed by a nail crashing into the coffin. The New York Daily News ( Awesome upstanding newspaper ) has released a report about Clemens using Viagra pills on the field as a performance enhancer on the field.

Talk about throwing a hard one right down the plate! And don’t get mad at that remark; You’re going to hear a bunch of these puns all day hearing these stories ( some over or under my pg-13 level). It has been reported that uses for Viagra that isn’t used for “hitting one out of the park” is to increase endurance levels, and as a catalyst to deliver oxygen to muscles faster.

This is not necessarily new news on the endurance factor of Viagra in exercise. Stanford University and Palo Alto Health Center scholars had found improvements in cyclist in high altitudes upon the uses of Sildenafil ( Viagra ). The drug, which I have come to know so well through Brett Favre throwing a football through the hoop, or the guy who whets the sexual desire of local housewives and coworkers, opens up blood vessels of certain tissues, which allow blood ( and therefore oxygen ) to pass through a lot easier. Even the University of Virginia’s health website talks about the benefits ( dated: 2002).

The article in the New York Daily news also reports that more players in baseball have used this component along with steroids, and it has been confirmed by the words of Victor Conte.

I am not in the loop so a lot of this is new to me. I guess at the end of the day, Clemens was trying to get the high hard one going throughout the game! Yes, I meant fastball! Fastball… doesn’t correlate, but in order to climb out of the gutter, I’ll just end the article here.

The Daily News referenced article ( from the Sporting News )

Leave a comment of a pun that would be funny. “Rocket-Man has a whole new meaning” has already been used:)

Game 2: Lakers Vs. The Celtics – Game 2 Preview & Prediction

I don’t want to duplicate the article here, but I wrote it on the Bleacher Report website . Great Website, BTW.

The Beantown Brawl: Three Red Sox And Five Devil Rays Suspended.

It was clear as the replays kept showing the brawl between The Devil Rays and the Red Sox that the Rays probably had been inciting more mischief around the melee. Tim Kurkjian on baseball tonight had said that Coco was going to receive a stiff penalty for his actions and his comments detailing the incident and implicitness in the altercation.

But the penalty wasn’t as bad as thought. He will go down in the count for seven games, which I feel is adequate, and surprised that his comments didn’t land him more. James Shields was also fined for six games, and the fine amounts are undisclosed.

Shields is a starting pitcher, so this is the equivalent to one start. I don’t know why they did six games instead of five. Although his comments implicated his willingness to hit Crisp, he hit him in the leg, and even Crisp gave him props for not head-hunting.

Where the fines do make sense were the trouble-makers during the chaos. Johny Gomes and pitcher Edwin Jackson got five-game bans. Crawford & Akinori Iwamura, for getting those cheap shots at the end, got a four-game and three-game suspension respectively.

For the Red Sox, Jon Lester and Sean Casey ( I don’t remember them being involved, but that could be the NESN broadcast and/or my love-of-the-Sox bias ) for five and three games respectively.

Crisp is batting right in front of my face so I guess he’s appealing it. And rightfully so, now that Ellsbury is day-to-day with his wrist. The Boston Globe has reported he is available for pinch-hit duties, so I guess it isn’t serious. But this team isn’t going to take risks on their soon-to-be-superstar outfielder ( Wow, I am coming up with top-notch analysis today ain’t I?)

“You sure are”, answers Sarcasm. “You sure are…”

The suspensions for Shields, Gomes, and Lester are going to start tonight.  Crawford’s will start his on the 11th, Edwin Jackson on June 13, Sean Casey on June 14, and Iwamura is starting his vacation on the 17th.

Coco Crisp Post-Game Interview After Fight ( Video & Text )

 

 

GossiponSports was the 1st site that posted the video ( through Redlasso I guess ). This is one of the best and most honest videos that a player has made about a fight:

The CocoCrisp Post-game Interview:

Here is also the text of the interview ( of this video ):

” I charged the mound. I feigned it, like I was going to go to first base, just get Navarro ( the catcher ) off of me a little bit. And, uh… just charged the mound. He ( Shields ) tried to hit me with a haymaker. He missed. I threw a punch. Uh… I pretty much missed. And the ( rest of us ) went down to the ground. People trying to… I didn’t really like the scratches on my face- where the people were trying to scratch like we were playing football or something. Like little girls, trying to scratch out my eyes.”

” You know, I move one hand down,( they ) scratch me right here ( pointing towards his cheekbone ). After that, people were trying to pull my hair like little girls ( grinning :)). Like… you know, instead like, throwing some real punches or somethng like that. I am down on the ground. I mean, the fight is pretty much over baseball term-wise.”

You want to come in late, and throw some extra blows, and get your little blows in, you know, that’s cool. I cover up. it’s all good. Trying to pull some hair. It’s alright.  You know, that was between me and Shields that time, and uh…  you know, everbody’s trying to get their little blows in.”

” I think even more, He ( Shields ) threw one little, he was unsure if he really wanted to hit me or not ( after Crisp was toppled I guess ) it seemed like. But, because he didn’t really hit me hard. The big dude, um, what’s his name? Johny Gomes, he tried to come in, a hefty dude. ( He ) Tried to come in with some blows ( while Crisp is on the ground ). But I think Navarro, you know, I credit him ( for blocking him in the pile-up).

“And I actually credit Shields, too. Because, you know, even though we went at it, he hit me ( with the pitch ) in the leg, he didn’t try to hit me in the head. So, you know, that’s good. So, he didn’t like try to kill me. And then I ran out there ( to the mound ), and then he tried to hit me in the head. So that’s the way to go, you know!”

“It is what it is, now. I say, uh… tick-for-tack, I think I got the worst of it because I’m running out there, and they can get to me before our guys can get to me to help”.

Here is the text from James Shields after the game:

“I think what (Crisp) did (Wednesday) was an absolutely dirty move, bush league and not supposed to be in the professional game of baseball… He’s not a professional player. I lost all respect for him… We’ve been getting stomped around the last 10 years and that’s not going to happen any more,”

I have a lot to say about this fight, but I’ll leave it to anyone who wants to say something about it for now. I’ll get my thoughts together and post them up a lil’ later. This fight, and the quotes by both Shields and Crisp represents a forum of the inner-workings of baseball revenge and player attitudes for protecting their brothers-in-arms. It was also commented on my former post that the Youkilis-Ramirez fight might’ve stemmed for Ramirez’s apathy during the whole episode. There’s a lot you can get out of this. Tell me what you think.

I’m going to love this rivalry now that the Rays are a great team. If their pitching keeps up, They can be just as dangerous as the Red Sox, Tigers, Yankees, and Angels in a 5-game post-season set.