And now he's his old self? I hate to use the word "tanking" . . . but maybe last season's statistical slippage had at least something to do with disinterest on Manny's part. He did find his fearsome form in October, after all. And we know how his last days in Boston played out; isn't it curious how his trick knee miraculously healed as soon as he boarded that westbound plane?
I'm not here today to debate whether the Sox should have waited out the storm with Manny. We've all moved on. Everyone adores the aw-shucks new guy, Jason Bay, and the Sox have legitimate championship aspirations. It's a bright new day.
Coincidentally enough, because of Manny, they feel exactly the same way in LA. The Dodgers have won nine of 10, surging to a 3 1/2-game lead over Arizona in the NL West. He has played 38 games in Dodger blue, not even a quarter of the full schedule, and he's a legitimate top-five Most Valuable Player candidate. There's no denying it: He's the driving force who rescued their season.
We all knew Manny was capable of a lot of things. But who knew he was still capable of this?
The way Manny's going, October might just bring us the ultimate Hollywood ending.
Sox-Dodgers World Series, anyone?
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As for today's Completely Random Baseball Card:
Man, I wish the Blue Jays had nine of him in the lineup tonight.
About Touching All The Bases
Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.