Red Sox fans got a first-hand view of Manny Ramirez over the weekend. It was never going to be one of those "remember-where-you-were" moments, but Manny's return proved even less memorable than it could have been. And that's after Manny's big, heartfelt confession that he was wrong, he's grown up now, and if given the chance, he would have come back to Boston.
The Labor Day holiday had something to do with the lack of interest in Manny. So did Hurricane Earl. But, being in the stands Saturday night, a "mixed reaction" is being too kind to Ramirez. It was about 80-20 boos-to-cheers.
Which leads to how Ramirez is being perceived in Chicago. He went 4-for-9 over the weekend at Fenway, though he failed to drive in a run. Ramirez may perform well on the field for the White Sox this month, but the Manny mystique certainly isn't there this time around. A Chicago Tribune poll asking readers about their initial impressions of Ramirez lists three possible responses, all of them starting with "What was all the fuss about?"
Following the news that Ramirez would be coming to Boston, the Tribune's David Haugh wrote that it was hard to applaud bringing in a player with Ramirez's reputation.
Both the Tribune and Sun-Times are having fun with the length of Manny's hair, but it feels forced. The White Sox as a team aren't marketing Ramirez like the Dodgers did two years ago. There won't be a Mannywood on the South Side. The manager, Ozzie Guillen, is still the team's biggest personality, and Manny's presence isn't going to change that.
The main contributors to The Buzz are:
- Steve Silva, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Gary Dzen, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Zuri Berry, Boston.com sports producer