Friday, August 1, 2008

Manny was for Manny, not the Red Sox; nor fans.

Another month is behind us. Another week is almost behind us. A Red Sox era is behind us. Four + dollar gasoline is behind us, at least for a few days. To say July was all wet is close to being an understatement, but it seemed like we had some sort of rain somewhere in the state just about every day. Too much rain, in fact.

Wife Gator toured her vegetable gardens yesterday and declared a near disaster. Too much wind and rain has apparently caused a goodly portion of our crop not to materialize. We should have an abundance of stuff right now; but except for green and yellow beans, some beet greens and some Swiss chard, it now looks like we’ll be heading to the farmer’s market.

Two weeks ago she had more tomatoes on her vines than ever. Then we got some winds and some rain and all but two or three tomatoes are now all but gone. Four vines of green peppers were growing nicely. Now we’ll be lucky to get two peppers. We may end up with four or five small cucumbers. We’ll probably get another (fourth) feed on beet greens and there’s a small chance we’ll get some beets. The only other green that sort of made it was the Swiss chard. The beans remain healthy.

Our summer squash apparently didn’t make it. And our winter squash is questionable. She’s had her gardens for several years and this one bad summer won’t deter her, but it is a disappointment as we both feel there’s nothing as good as vegetables picked and eaten within an hour. I guess one thing we’ll have to do over the winter is redesign the garden areas and provide for some better drainage. On the other hand, this is an unusually wet summer and so next year could simply return to more normal conditions.

Manny’s gone and so another Red Sox era comes to an end. As anyone who cares already knows, Manny Ramirez became a Los Angeles Dodger yesterday as the humanitarian Sox granted the unhappy player’s wish to be traded. And it was all about money. Manny’s unhappiness wasn’t about playing time, about personal recognition, about playing on a World Championship team. It was all about money. Twenty million dollars next year, and possibly the year after that, simply wasn’t enough. After all, he could see the contracts being signed all around him and wanted his piece of that pie.

Never mind he was a, if not the, major ingredient in two World Championships during his eight years. Never mind he was pretty much loved in Boston. Never mind he was protected in the batting order by David Ortiz. His existence was all about Manny being Manny, the absolute center of attention. And money.

We’ll never know if his latest little tantrum in Boston was contrived trying to force a new contract or if he really did want to be traded. Since he didn’t block the trade, which he could have done by Major League rules and contract, he may really have wanted to go. Or it could be he had no way, because he is Manny, to call the Red Sox bluff. The Sox have put up with his shenanigans for eight years, but this year he may have gone too far.

He refused to play in a couple of games because of a “sore knee” which MRIs proved were not injured. Seeing him stand at the plate with the bat on his shoulders watching three strikes go by probably didn’t endear him to management. And his publicly saying the Sox didn’t deserve a player like him may have been the final nail. I would agree with him on that last one. The Sox didn’t deserve a player who was totally and completely (Is that a redundancy?) only for himself. He wasn’t for the team, the fans of Boston, the fans in New England, and even worse, his teammates. Manny Ramirez was for Manny only.

His distractions since the all-star break have been catastrophic. Not only did he not participate as a team player, his remarks and actions were distractions to the other Sox players. It was evident when watching them play, even though my only sights were via the television. The Red Sox was an unhappy team.

He does generally have a great bat; but, nevertheless, I can’t understand why the Dodgers would want him, except for this year at least they’ve gotten Manny for virtually nothing.

So the Manny era ends. Let’s hope it’s the start of a new beginning for the Boston Red Sox.


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