When Bill Reynolds of the Providence Journal learned that Manny Ramirez was traded to the Dodgers and that he was leaving his beloved Red Sox, his very next article began with the words, “The Circus Has Left Town.”
From supposedly cutting across the field to use the bathroom during a game, to his signature dreadlocks, in addition to his power at the plate and star-like talent, Bill Reynolds knows Manny Ramirez will always be Manny Ramirez.
For some Manny is a hero, while others continue to throw the controversial player under the bus in disapproval of his actions and attitude.
According to SI.com, Jonathan Papelbon, who is a promoter and seller of the ACAI berry, had a few choice words for Ramirez during an interview in Esquire magazine’s April issue. He is quoted with the following;
“It just takes one guy to bring an entire team down, and that’s exactly what was happening. Once we saw that, we weren’t afraid to get rid of him… He had to go. It (stunk), but that was the only scenario that was going to work. That was it for us.”
Papelbon also told the magazine that Tim Wakefield, David Ortiz, and Jason Varitek now share the same views.
Harold Reynolds (not to be confused with Bill) conducted an interview with Ortiz back on May 13, 2007. Ortiz talked about how special Manny was and what qualities he can bring to a team.
“Manny is the kind of guy that completes everything,” Big Papi said. “Young players will learn from Manny, it’s just good to have this guy around.”
More than a year later on Sept. 17, 2008 we got the opposite reaction from Curt Schilling, who blasted Ramirez considerably, saying that the slugger’s “level of disrespect to teammates and people was unfathomable.”
Schilling also continued to speak about how teammates referred to Manny as the “Carl Everett” of the locker room.
Ortiz was also caught going back on his kind words. In November of 2008, Big Papi was quoted saying;
“The Manny situation was a tough situation for the team, for us the teammates, for him as a player,” Ortiz said. “He was trying to get to be out, everybody knows, it’s not news, for the past few years and it was something that it was getting worse and worse and worse every year.”
What caused Ortiz to talk about Manny in such a positive way, then turn 180 degrees against his so-called “friend?” The evidence obviously tells us that the beginning-to-middle part of the 2008 season may have been Manny’s downfall with the club.
In 2008, the same year in which Manny tallied his 500th home run, a few confrontations with traveling secretary Jack McCormick, and a certain slapping incident involving Kevin Youkilis did not help his evolving reputation.
McCormick and Ramirez were arguing over Ramirez’s large game-day request for 16 tickets to a game in Houston, when Ramirez reportedly pushed McCormick to the ground after saying “Just do your job.”
On July 25, after sitting out one game against the Seattle Mariners with a sore knee, Ramirez was originally slated to start against the Yankees. Several minutes before the game, however, he informed manager Terry Francona, through a bench coach, that he would not be playing.
When back in action, Ramirez frequently did not run out ground balls. Assuming that this was due to his displeasure about his contract situation, many Red Sox fans and reporters, including Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe, called for Ramirez to be traded.
“He was on a different train,” Papelbon said. “It’s like cancer. He had to go!”
If you look at these situations in general, you would have to say that Papelbon does have a point. Manny was just being Manny!
Manny does want to finish his career in L.A., and we also know he was not happy in Boston and vice versa as his last year with the club dwindled, something Papelbon has not been afraid to re-emphasize as common knowledge.
The Manny situation is now in the hands of the Dodgers organization and it is time to get over it! I am not saying Ramirez will behave from this point on out, but he does seem to be handling himself well as a Dodger.