"If it doesn't happen, so who cares? There's always next year. It's not like the end of the world."
Well Manny, I can see what you are trying to say there. You do care, but you were just attempting to downplay the whole "Push the panic button" idea. Of course, your word choice was terrible. Those words aren't exactly reader friendly, especially to any member of Red Sox Nation. I don't question if Manny truely cares about winning.
But I do question how he goes about winning.
Game 4's solo HR that he belted the opposite way was a great one. The problem was, it only brought the game within four runs. Manny ensued to throw up his hands, stare at the ball as it soared, and slowly walked into a trot around the bases. That is generally something he does in a clutch situation. He'll throw his hands up like when he hit a walk off against the Angels off K-Rod. Or, he'll do it like in Game 2 when he hit a 2R HR to tie the game. But what he did in Game 4 was, like in the words of the great Tim McCarver:"A walk out of the box HR".
That was stupid, Manny. But hey, you are Manny being Manny right? We love you to death. Us Sox fans can't stay mad at you. You've been on fire all post season, you were just trying to start a rally. We understand. And I'm sure Indians fans do as well.
But I guess I'll have to rethink my position about Sox fans. Why? Well, I think anyone that was watching Game 5 knows why.
Manny hit a beautiful two-bagger in the top of the 1st after Kevin Youkilis' HR. He eventually was brought around by Mike Lowell. Now, let's see if we can see what is wrong here. Manny is hauling freight around 3rd base and is coming home. The throw from the outfield is coming fast and is perfect. Martinez snags it and comes down to see Manny about 5 feet away from him. Manny slows up in his stride and jogs by home plate as Martinez tags him.
Ok, did we see anything wrong with that paragraph? Not grammatically, but you know.
Manny pulls quite possibly the laziest move in baseball history by NOT sliding or even attempting to run over the catcher. He basically gave up and didn't care if he could have scored a run. I'm not saying he would have scored, I'm saying he gave up on the possibility of scoring. This left me in front of my TV in shock. "WTF!?!?!?!" was all I was saying.
Maybe Manny thought he was to pretty to slide and get himself dirty. Maybe he doesn't give a siht anymore and just felt like getting to the dugout. Maybe he had a weird thought right then and just didn't slide. Maybe he crapped himself in excitement coming around 3rd so he was trying to hurry up and get out of the open. Whatever it was Manny, SLIDE!!!
Then, in the 3rd inning, Manny decides to do something even stupider. Wrap your mind around that for a second. Manny has David Ortiz at first, and he hits a ball deep into the outfield. It at first looks like it will just fall short of the track, but then it starts to carry. It even surprises Joe Buck. It eventually bounces on the top of the wall, the yellow padding to be specific. This is NOT a HR. But Manny doesn't know that. He should just be galloping around the bases trying to get as many bases as possible. He could have ended up at 2nd, maybe 3rd if he was on his toes. But no, Manny decides that he KNOWS he hit a HR and stops at 1st and starts to argue.
It's official, Manny Ramirez suffers from mild retardation. I don't know what else to say. What else could it be? My God, no person of normal brain capacity would actually commit such absent minded acts in one game. Right? Well, maybe I'm getting ahead of myself. Maybe Manny isn't suffering from the same thing Forrest Gump did. I don't know. Maybe Manny just doesn't care anymore. Maybe Manny pulled a hammy walking out of the box. Maybe he had an image of Game 2 of the ALDS against K-Rod. Whatever it was, Manny should have ended up with an extra base hit. And to further magnify this, David Ortiz scored from first. Ahem, I said that David fricking Ortiz scored from first. Yeah, he did. Ugh...
Now, Boston won the game. They ended up not missing out on any of the possible runs Manny left out there. Beckett ended up mowing down Indians hitters once again through 8 innings of work. Sabathia ended up pitching poorly once again. Papelbon ended up getting the final outs in the 9th with a comfortable six run lead. But, there is still a Game 6 to be played, with the possibility of a 7th game.
Boston has to 1) Get hits and score runs off of Fausto Carmona again. 2) Get a better pitching performance from the aging Curt Schilling. 3) Get hits and score runs off of the lights out Indians bullpen if needed. 4) Have their own bullpen to do well late in the game. 5) Keep Gagne out of the game if it is close.
That is some important stuff right there. Some of it looks pretty difficult. And I'll be damned if Manny Ramirez pulls any of his BS in that game. Manny will hit, that is a given, but he better not do anything stupid after he gets those hits.
Manny can be Manny all he wants, but I guarandamntee that if he ends up costing Boston this series with any further foolish antics, Boston won't be so forgiving. Red Sox Nation loves them some Manny, but the cord can also be cut. (I.E. Johnny Damon)
I will say though, if Manny ends up getting a few BIG hits in Game 6 or even 7, I'll be yammering about how much I love me some Manny. lqtm.