Manny Ramirez's Long Goodbye
Exit stage left, dude. It's been fun.
Adios, dude. I suspect you won't be around much longer. The current Red Sox management never wanted you very much - The Youthful Genius in the general manager's office looks at you and probably sees three Julio Lugos - and it seems like you and your $20 million option are not going to get together along Yawkey Way next season. I say this with no joy and a lot of regret, but you really did hand them the hammer this time. You can't go around jacking up sexagenarian traveling secretaries and expect the moral consciences of sports-talk radio and the members of the Base Ball Sewing Circle of America to stand for it. It's not altogether fair - why should you take heat for a lack of professionalism from, for example, radio hosts who are most famous for comparing black children to apes? - but that's the way the world rolls. It became open season. People can breezily "report" self-evident drivel about how the Sox fined you eleventy kajillion dollars. Good lord, you can't even exercise every ballplayer's God-given right to complain about your contract without some delicate soul clutching the pearls, reeling away from the laptop, and gasping, "Respect for the game!" because you had a hilarious moment in left against the Angels and came up laughing. So, that's it. Without you, the Sox do not win in 2004 and in 2007. Without you, Theo Epstein is J.P. Ricciardi. Someone once said of Jimmy Piersall that he showed the people who run baseball it was a game, so they locked him up. You showed them it was a game and you have to leave town. Vaya con Dios, big guy.
Charles P. Pierce