Manny Ramirez a sluggish tantrumite? – Not his fault

July 31, 2008

I blame David Ortiz for the predicament that Manny Ramirez is in currently with the Red Sox. We know Manny shoved a 200-year-old man and fought with a teammate and didn’t hustle on 4700000 plays in the outfield and while at bat, but has anyone explored the real reason for Manny’s implosion?

I didn’t think so. Well, I’m going to say the blame should be placed squarely on one player’s shoulders – David Ortiz.

That’s right. Big Papi got injured a couple months back and with that injury Papi became a ghost in the clubhouse. Formerly Papi would joke with Manny and keep him in check. It was like a big brother-little brother relationship.

No fat joke implications here, but Papi was clearly the big brother.

Manny gets in a verbal skirmish with Dustin Pedroia, Papi steps in. No issues.

Manny captures slow-moving rabbits from a neighbor’s yard and eats them whole for breakfast-Papi steps in and buys new pets for the neighbor’s kids. No issues.

Manny doesn’t run out a grounder-Papi lets the rest of the clubhouse know that was just Manny being Manny and it was done in good fun. No issues.

But with Papi on rehab, there’s nobody to protect Manny and interpret his actions for the rest of the team and the rest of Red Sox nation.

It’s like having a prison boyfriend who looks out for you, not that I’d know but I did watch Oz a few times. And without Manny’s Big Papi, the best hitter in the last dozen years was on his own.

Nonchalance can be cute when it doesn’t cost you a pennant.

Attitude can be endearing when it doesn’t injure a senior-citizen.

But when your star player stops putting in the $20Million worth of effort you’re paying him for. And when he starts having tantrums all over the rest of the team and even the management, it’s probably time to go.

If only Ortiz wasn’t such a slow healer, we’d someday have Manny in a Red Sox uniform in the hall of fame.

More to come…