I have to admit, I feel completely and utterly duped. I was made a fool of for almost eight years. I couldn’t be more ashamed, embarrassed, and enraged that I was once a Manny Ramirez supporter/apologist.
I’ve always loved Manny Ramirez. I was ecstatic the day they signed him, even calling into the J.T. the Brick radio show to brag about my newest favorite player. Through his tenure, I enjoyed almost everything about Manny. I never wanted to see him leave.
Even when I admitted that the Red Sox had to trade Manny, I also admitted to being sad about it. I almost always sided with Manny and defended him throughout his tenure in Boston.
I was against the Manny-for-A-Rod trade.
I was against the team putting him on irrevocable waivers.
I thought the Manny-for-Aubrey Huff rumor back in 2005 was insulting.
I bought the knee injury story in 2006, never buying the “Manny’s faking it because he’s upset with management” rumor. Even as the whole team crumbled around him as he refused to play, I still defended him. He’s a little weird, but he’s a professional. He’d never fake an injury. He knows the team needs him.
Or so I thought.
I loved Manny-being-Manny right up until the last month of his Red Sox tenure, when Manny-being-Manny turned into Manny-hating-Management.
But right now, I’m so thoroughly disgusted it’s almost ulcer-inducing.
I have never been this disgusted with a professional athlete. Ever.
Manny Ramirez claimed to have a knee injury that was so bad he had to miss two straight games over a three-night period. He said it had been bothering him for at least a week. Only he never informed the training staff of this lingering knee injury.
When confronted after refusing to play in the first game of a three-game series against the Yankees, he wasn’t even entirely clear on which knee was having the issue.
But he was clear that he couldn’t play. He even asked to be put on the DL.
The Red Sox weren’t buying it, so they ordered an MRI. On both knees, of course, since Manny wasn’t forthcoming about which knee was the problem.
When the MRI came back clean, the Red Sox told Manny he had to play or risk suspension. Manny played, but refused to run hard, presumably because of his knee injury.
When the other players (not management, the players) collectively decided they’d had enough of Manny, he was traded.
Even if you don’t believe the Boston Globe report that Scott Boras called the Red Sox and told them that Manny would behave if they promised not to pick up his two options and didn’t trade him, something is clearly fishy.
All of a sudden, talk of going on the DL with a debilitating knee injury has been tabled.
All of a sudden, Manny’s a .500 hitter who homers every other at-bat.
All of a sudden, Manny’s running hard to first base on every at-bat.
All of a sudden, I feel like a frigging moron for ever supporting this piece of crap. And that’s what he is, a selfish, crybaby, piece of crap who didn’t deserve me (or anyone else in Boston) as a fan.
He was paid over $160 million over a seven-and-a-half year span in Boston. He had friends like David Ortiz, Alex Cora, and Julio Lugo on the team. He had millions of fans who worshiped the ground he walked on, overlooked his shortcomings, and pretty much loved him unconditionally.
Yet he faked an injury and dogged it in the most important games of the season. He spit in the face of the Red Sox, his friends, his teammates, and his fans.
Manny Ramirez is a scumbag.
I feel bad for Dodger fans, who have collectively embraced him. In two months, Manny will leave the Dodgers. Don’t listen to a word he says about wanting to finish his career in L.A.
If you’re not the highest bidder, he isn’t staying. He wants to play for the Yankees. He wants to stick it to the Red Sox organization, who unfairly expected him to play baseball when healthy while they were writing him $160 million worth of checks.
I can’t stress this enough: I feel like a bleep-hole. I supported this guy. I defended this guy.
I was wrong. The Manny-Haters were right. The Cleveland fans, who warned me about him eight years ago, were finally proven right. Manny is the most selfish player in Red Sox history.
And I’m glad he’s just that: Red Sox history.
Good riddance, prick.
Sean Crowe is a Senior Writer and an NFL Community Leader at Bleacher Report. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His archive can be found here. You can find everything he writes, including articles for other publications, here.