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Dan Shaughnessy

Ramírez's remarks are sad

By Dan Shaughnessy
Globe Columnist / October 1, 2008
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ANAHEIM, Calif. - Those air sickness bags come in handy sometimes. Flying coast to coast, you cram into your coach seat (like John Glenn in Mercury 1), open the paper to read Manny Ramírez's latest remarks, and you need the barf bag before you're over Kansas.

Day after day. More great stuff about Manny in the news out here. It's downright nauseating.

Here's the subhead in the latest Los Angeles Times feature on Manny: "Manny Ramírez changed the look of the Dodgers lineup with his home runs and RBIs, but perhaps just as important, he changed the attitude in the team's clubhouse."

Isn't that swell? Manny changing the attitude in the clubhouse. It's like hearing that Pope Benedict XVI had 'em rolling in the aisles with his stand-up routine at the Vatican.

You really have to hope the Red Sox and Dodgers advance to the World Series. That way, you get to tell Manny what you think of him when he finally steps into the batter's box at Fenway.

We know what he thinks of you. He thinks all you Sox fans are losers who need to get a life. You just care too darn much. It doesn't matter how much love you showered on his head. You bothered him with all that caring.

Speaking to his new best friend, T.J. Simers of the Times, Manny said, "I was unhappy for eight years in Boston but still put up great numbers."

Wow. Unhappy for eight whole years. While the Sox were winning the World Series and fans were worshiping at Manny's feet, he was unhappy. He must have been unhappy when you stood and applauded while he ran onto the field carrying that American flag on the day he became a US citizen. He must have been miserable riding in the duck boat, seeing the hand-held signs of fans who lined the parade route.

Here's my favorite part of the Manny rant:

"Baseball in Boston is like a Sunday football game, but played every day. We lose in LA, I go to breakfast and people say, 'Well, you'll get them tomorrow.' In Boston, it's 'Hey, what's going on, the Yankees are coming.' It's just a different atmosphere. The fans in Boston got your back no matter what, but I'm talking about the people who write all this bull because it means so much to them. If your happiness depends on Boston winning or losing, you have to get a life."

He's right about some of this. There certainly are people in Boston whose happiness is connected to the Sox' fortunes. But it's not the "people who write this bull." Trust me when I tell you that Sox wins and losses have zero bearing on my happiness.

It's the fans who care. That's why they are fans. They are the ones being served when we "write all this bull." They are the ones who always had Manny's back. They are the ones who cared too much for Manny's liking.

"I'd go to the parking lot after the game and 20 people I didn't know would be offering food, CDs, and things - then wanting something in return."

Those are fans, Manny. They probably wanted something really stupid like an autograph, a handshake, or a moment of your time. Life sure can be hell when you play for the Red Sox.

On the small matter of shoving 64-year-old traveling secretary Jack McCormick to the floor, Manny said he was wrong, but added that he was provoked by McCormick disrespecting him in front of his teammates. McCormick continues to have no comment. Guess we'll just have to chalk it up as one more bad day in Manny's 7 1/2 years of horrible times in Boston.

"Just let me be happy someplace else," Manny told Simers.

Go for it, Manny. Knock yourself out being happy in Los Angeles. You must be thrilled, judging by the way you ran up the first base line like Usain Bolt after hitting a home run last night. Knock in a few hundred more runs while you're at it. We all know it's a perfect fit - you and Southern California. In Los Angeles, fans don't care, just like you don't care. There are stars everywhere and you can have a drink at the Ritz with Enrique Wilson without being dimed out by some crazed LA fan.

Just don't keep talking about how unhappy you were in Boston. Count your blessings and keep quiet about the Fenway years so we don't have to remind everyone of the shameful manner in which you quit on your team in order to gain free agency.

Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at dshaughnessy@globe.com.

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