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Manny's latest PR machine

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff February 12, 2009 10:22 AM

I think I already read the Manny Ramirez book. It was called, "A Million Little Pieces."

Maybe that's not fair. Perhaps 64-year-old Red Sox traveling secretary Jack McCormick did deserve that infamous shove to the clubhouse floor last summer in Houston. "Jack disrespected Manny for many years and on many occasion," Ramirez's former agent Gene Mato told Manny mouthpieces Shawn Boburg and Dr. Jean Rhodes in a forthcoming book entitled, "Becoming Manny."

Then again, in Manny's mind, being disrespected probably amounted to McCormick refusing to remove the red M&M's.

The insult.

The revelations on this incident in the book, much like Joe Torre's comments about Alex Rodriguez, are most likely being taken out of context, leaked by the publisher in order to get people talking, which, lo and behold, we are. In fact, Dr. Rhodes sounded completely forthright about how the book should be perceived in an interview yesterday with WEEI's Dennis and Callahan, and she didn't prove herself to be a Manny sycophant by any means.

But color me uninterested. No matter how the book promises to attempt to pry into the mind of Manny, I've about had my fill of Ramirez telling me why he's been wronged to the tune of $20 million a year. Sorry, not worth my $24.95.

Luckily, the Portland Press Herald's Kevin Thomas has already posted his initial thoughts on the book:

Just finished speed reading "Becoming Manny: Inside the Life of Baseball's Most Enigmatic Slugger."

It is an authorized biography of Manny Ramirez.

It is pathetic.

So, it's got that going for it.

McCormick has yet to comment on his portrayal in the book, which from the excerpts makes him seem like a foaming-at-the-mouth, crotchety old man with a penchant for delivering disrespectful needles solely in the direction of Ramirez ... but grandfatherly to everybody else. "Jack had a history of insulting Manny in front of the other players," Manny's wife, Juliana says.

A history. Please. After all we've learned about Manny and his questionable transgressions here in Boston, we're resorted to making excuses and apologies for his "misunderstood" attitude.

Still.

Oh, Manny will always have his fan-boys here in New England, those that want to recall the thrills he provided with his bat, though if you read some of the comments here, you might think he single-handedly delivered two World Series titles, no thanks to you Mssrs. Schilling, Foulke, and Ortiz. And they'll eat this book up, with the finger pointed at their hero's deterrents with a "Told you so," and reveling in the falsehoods perpetrated by the evil "media" that ran him out of town.

"Manny was hard-pressed to give his best to a team he knew was eager to cast him aside," The Boston Herald quotes the book as saying.

Really, read that line again, and we can pretty much sum up how this book is going to go, despite whatever good intentions the authors might have had.

The point we're missing is the fact that many believe Ramirez (perhaps coached by agent Scott Boras?) was trying to quit on the team in order to escape his option years, a move that looks genuinely stupid now in this new baseball economy. I would, just for once, love to hear a ballplayer tell me the truth, the God's honest, downright, brutal truth about doing something for money. Instead, Ramirez uses the authors to promote the fact that the McCormick incident prompted the Red Sox to toss him to the wolves, and garner public opinion for a trade.

Yes, it was only this incident. Because that whole irrevocable waivers thing four years earlier didn't signal that perhaps there were issues.

In the famous words of Rainier Wolfcastle, when asked how he slept at night, particularly after making an $80 million movie that consisted of him standing in front of a brick wall: "On top of a pile of money with many beautiful ladies." See, now that's unapologetic honesty. Give me some of that, Manny. I'm pretty sure there haven't been too many sleepless nights for our loveable slugger -- rolling in cash amid a new crop of the blind in Los Angeles -- since last summer's events. And now, we learn that there was a reason why he shoved McCormick to the ground. Guy had it coming. So, there.

Manny's got an "authorized" book hitting the shelves. God help us all.

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19 comments so far...
  1. As a nearly quarter century Matt Groening fan, your citation of the Rainier Wolfcastle quote sums Manny up better then Manny ever could. Nice analogy!

    Posted by Bill H. February 12, 09 11:38 AM
  1. So you're so uninterested in the book that you've written a column about it? And you are basing your entire opinion of the book on a single excerpt?

    The mileage that you Boston columnists continue to get out of Manny is quite impressive. Have the Red Sox given you your talking points for reviewing this book yet?

    Posted by Adam K February 12, 09 12:15 PM
  1. so, i just need to say this. is manny not going to sign until the season starts just so he does not have to play in spring training.

    Posted by glenn Tarbell February 12, 09 10:32 PM
  1. Wonder how much it cost Boras to have whatsherface write (and I use that term loosely) the "book" for his client.

    Posted by Barb February 13, 09 04:29 AM
  1. Adam...great comment...says it all

    Posted by Mike D February 13, 09 04:40 PM
  1. So many references ("red M&M's", "he's got that going for him,") that I actually enjoyed and actually added to the column. Nice.
    Loyalty runs both ways so I have no hard feelings, just a sense of pleasure that the BoSox management, supported by the players, did the right thing.
    .
    Hey, it was good while it lasted, and that's how these transactions work
    .

    Posted by Doug from Princeton February 13, 09 06:19 PM
  1. Barb, ths book has been 4 years the making. The evil Boras had nothing to do with it.

    Let us know when your book comes out...you too, Eric .

    Posted by MIke February 13, 09 06:40 PM
  1. Manny proved a lot of things while he was in Boston:
    He proved he could hit.
    He proved he could hit when it mattered.
    He proved he was clinically immature.
    He proved he had no respect for the game.
    He proved he had no respect for the fans.
    He proved he had no respect for his teammates.
    He proved he had no respect for the team that was paying him $20 million per year.
    Notice a pattern here?
    He proved he was a loafer on the field.
    He then went to the Dodgers and proved beyond any doubt whatsoever what a phony he was and is (amazing how that California air cured that knee injury - and in one day!) and why the Red Sox getting rid of him was a no-brainer.
    Great hitter. HOFer. Good riddance.

    Posted by BobL February 14, 09 06:54 AM
  1. Manny is a cancer to baseball. The stupid things he says, "I don't care about winning, there's always next year," are an insult to not only every fan, but to every human being, and to the virtue of having enough pride to put forth a good effort for your own self-respect.

    Manny is a one dimensional player. He can hit, and that's all he can do. He can't play defense, can't run, can't steal a base. Furthermore, even in the one thing he can do, hit, he isn't on par with the best in baseball, and stands zero chance of breaking any records. He's never won league MVP, gold glove, etc.

    I'm very happy that he's gone, and I'll bet the next team that signs him will end up with an unmotivated, aging, malcontent goldbricker who rides the bench faking an injury while flipping off the fans and management.

    Posted by xos February 14, 09 03:21 PM
  1. How many people actually believe Manny has even read a book, much less written one? So if we are supposed to buy Manny's version of events, he was "disrespected" by an old clubhouse guy, so that gave him cause to:

    Refuse to play numerous times
    Not run out grounders in Phili in '03
    Look at three strikes right down the pike vs. the Yankees
    Refuse to get on the bus in Anaheim this past season
    Request a trade every single year, including THE VERY FIRST YEAR
    Refuse to hit behind Ortiz when Ortiz was going to him at the end of the '06 season and pleading with him to play so he could protect Ortiz as he was going for 50 HR's.

    And, in general, appear aloof and not to care at times by rolling around in LF; missing obvious plays (like in the WS in '04); not being ready in LF when the game starts, and on, and on, and on.

    It's all someone else's fault. I'm pretty sure it's my fault. He's misunderstood. We don't understand what really happened. Blah, blah, blah.

    I guess that's why everyone is tripping over themselves trying to sign the guy.

    Posted by JJ February 14, 09 07:06 PM
  1. I just can not believe that Manny wants to SQUEEZE every last penny out of us Boston fans with this book. Was 20 million a year not enough? all the love and attention we showered on him...and he quit on the fans and the team during a PENNANT RACE for more money? Now he wants even more money? He expects us to buy this book? No way. Manny can take his book and shove it where the sun don't shine.

    Posted by nadia February 14, 09 09:23 PM
  1. I am almost finishing a review of the 2004World Series( nostalgia perhaps) . It was amazing the things that I missed when I was watching the game. Papi came thru as the hitter hero not Manny. I was surprised. There were other heroes Mueller, Nixon, Foulke and so forth. I like Manny as a hitter but can he catch, Cora said he was better than Clemente, the latter could hit and catch and was not a Prima Donna or Don.

    Posted by Rowena M-Harvey February 15, 09 01:09 PM
  1. When you sign an agreement and then violate the terms of the agreement, by not acting in good faith, you are subject to a penalty. If the Player's Association wasn't backing him, I'd think the Sox should sue Manny and would have a strong case. For the good of the game, you just can't start that fight. But as a fan, I can say Manny is a self-centered, egomaniac who milked every ounce of the fan's appreciation and took everything Boston offered and gave nothing back. Let's appreciate genuine people and say good riddance to Hollowman.

    Posted by Dogs4Pals February 15, 09 05:19 PM
  1. You are obviously quite interested but I suspect the book will disappoint you because he won't whine and complain or defend pushing 64 year old men down. He'll talk about hitting and enjoying teammates like Mike Lolwell and be as actually uninterested in the press as it claims to be in him. The rest of us won't learn much we didn't already know thought if we are lucky we will get his account of how he traumatized three pitching staffs in the 2007 playoffs with some at bats that I will remember long after Manny is in the Hall of Fame holding the all time rbi record.

    Posted by indisox February 15, 09 05:53 PM
  1. I would love it if no team would sign Manny this season.That would knock some wind out of his and Boras sails.Maybe both of them would then smarten up.

    Posted by buddy 40 February 16, 09 11:05 AM
  1. Hey Eric,
    Color me "not surprised" to learn that McCormack may have been obnoxious to Manny. Forget the fact that he is 64, that is totally irrelevant.The man is a former state trooper --- I have yet to meet one under any circumstances that did not have a snotty, superior, condescending attitude, And they never fair to let you know what "tough guys" they are. Puhhleeease. This is no kindly old groundskeeper. He is a tough guy former state cop who is collecting a ridiculously high state pension that I'm paying for and got himself a cushy gig with the Sox because he knew the right person. Hey Jack, call stub hub, get the tickets and shut up. Bring back Manny!!!

    Posted by Tired of the hypocrisy February 16, 09 06:40 PM
  1. maybe if the tightwads in the front office told him before the season that he was in a contract year, sox would have won world series but you don't address that issue because your a globe lap jockey and the lap is sox management, good writing though hope the student loans from mass-toilet are paid off before the globe fires you when they are broke

    Posted by ya frickin jabroni February 16, 09 08:55 PM
  1. "But color me uninterested. No matter how the book promises to attempt to pry into the mind of Manny, I've about had my fill of Ramirez telling me why he's been wronged to the tune of $20 million a year. Sorry, not worth my $24.95."

    You seem pretty interested. Enough to write a column, oh excuse me, blog about Ramirez. Again.

    Posted by Classless February 17, 09 02:15 AM
  1. You're a moron and so are your commenters. Except for Classless, who calls it dead-on.

    Posted by Theo February 18, 09 07:47 AM
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