On being underwhelmed
By Robin Abrahams
Charles Pierce, a Globe colleague who knows infinitely more than I about baseball, has a terrific article in Slate today about Manny Ramirez's infamous statement that losing the ACLS "wouldn't be the end of the world." Mr. Pierce backs up my initial intuition, which is that Manny's statement had considerable psychological acumen behind it. From the article:
[I]t was impossible to watch the Red Sox over these last three games and not see Ramirez's words in vivid action. Boston did not play an inning of baseball in which the team was not cool, and loose, and utterly in command of the circumstances ... This was team that realized that losing wasn't the end of the world, and therefore, losing was nothing of which to be afraid. Manny saw that first and brought the rest of them along.
Manny Ramirez's underwhelmed calm was astute, helpful, and well within the bounds of good manners. Acknowledging that a game is, indeed, only a game and is played much better by those who keep such a perspective in mind is wise.
On the other hand, if one has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, one need not flutter and faint, but one might do well to come up with a more gracious response than, "Damn kids, get off my lawn!"