Monday, August 01, 2005


Everyone loves a happy ending

It's been a busy week for red sox nation... and a lame week for Reb Sox, I know. I did not comment on the manny situation here, but those of you who have been following Andrew's excellent coverage of the situation know that I have not exactly kept my mouth shut about it... in a theoretical, non-committal way, of course. Well everyone loves a happy ending.

Driving to NH on Friday evening, I had the rare opportunity to listen to WEEI, and smack in the middle of the biggest controversy of the season. Whenever I listen to this station, I inevitably end up yelling agrily into my dashboard and beating on my steering wheel. Among the many callers into WEEI, there seems to be a rather low IQ. And the hosts there don't seem to be bringing that average up too much. For a fanbase known for it's intelligence and commitment, WEEI is an embarrassment as a flagship station. The guys on there talk like arsonists weilding torches and throwing gasoline. But I suppose I don't listen enough to be critical. It's probably just a coincidence, right, that these guys are talking out of their asses every time I turn them on? ha!

Well I suppose it's not that unusual, in sports radio, as I was yelling and banging before I even made it to WEEI on Friday. Yes, my scan first hit ESPN radio, where some chick (wish I had caught her name, as I would love to be specifically making fun of her today; she sounded suspiciously similar to Susan Waldman) was coming up with perposterous trade ideas, simple player-for-player in terms of fair value for the player. She had come up with seven players who supposedly were of similar roster caliber to Manny. I do not know what the point of this exercise was, and did not bother to stick around to hear all of her potential candidates. The two that I did hear were enough to make me want to ram into something, so I felt it best to change the station for simple safety reasons. "what do you think, folks, would you trade Manny Ramirez for Gary Sheffield? How about Roger Clemens?" So yeah, obviously this discussion was not being made for practical reasons. Not only were we, in this segment, completely unconcerned with the likely possiblity of a trade, we were also completely ignoring the motivating factor behind the trade speculation in the first place. As in- Roger Clemens DOES NOT want to pitch in Boston EVER AGAIN, I am QUITE CERTAIN. And I'm pretty sure that Gary Sheffield would feel the same way, although my major objection to him is that he's a complete dickhead. If Theo were to have made this trade, as suggested, motivated by the organization's philosophy concerning the "type" of player they want here in Boston, well these two guys are about as far away from that "type" as you could get, regardless of their performance. So if you thought that "mannygate 2005" could not get more absurd than what was on WEEI this weekend, you might have been wrong.

I will not claim to have "stayed loyal" to manny throughout this event. I think many of us were concerned with the combination of events last week. It was too fuzzy for awhile, at least for me, where manny's loyalties lay for me to back him up as much as some have this weekend.

As weird and as almost surely staged as that scene in Francona's office was yesterday, Red Sox Nation required it. He needed to say to the media "I want to play here" before he went out there again. And that's all most of us needed. Yes, I know, some of you did not need that, you would defend manny to the death... not me. I needed to hear it. Even if it's not true, I needed Manny to say it. (And to hear him say "Manny being Manny" -ha aha- now that's just bonus material.)

I get the feeling that Manny needed what happened yesterday, too. A pinch-hit, winning RBI... yes, how very appropriate. Maybe we don't realize how necessary it was, how it magically reunited manny with red sox nation, once and for all, (at least 'till it comes up again next year.) It very quickly put to bed an emotional situation which could have left lingering frustration in the hearts of many fans, and perhaps many team members. Instead, just like that, the nation moves on, healed by the laugh of "manny being manny," cheering with a smile at his double-point from first.

This image, along with the much scarier one last week, will seem just as fresh in our minds at the end of the season. This past week has earned a permanant spot in each of our mental red sox slide shows. And maybe people will say these events were the turning point of the season. We have yet to see what direction that curve has sent us in, but I think we've all seen it coming; things have been heating up under the surface for weeks now, and suddenly it came to a boil. Tension has dropped off the map just as dramatically, and timed perfectly, as the sox have begun what seems to be their long-awaited hot streak.

Since things seem to be finally "falling into place", I think I ought to spread out some glue and hope it sticks.

I think we'll all be thanking god they didn't deal Manny come September (and October). And hearing The Man himself say "It's just Manny being Manny" was pure gold
Damn, Reb. 6 different links to me... I'm all a-flutter. This is a very solid recap here... there are times I'm glad I'm not in Boston, listening to EEI this week might have given me an aneurysm. Let's just hope this little collective catharsis party propels the team to come degree; a five game treak is a nice thing to vuild on, especially one that's come under these circumstances. And now we get to beef up on the Royals before heading into Minnesota.
Well Andrew, that was very complete coverage of the saga that you gave us over the weekend, or at least a chance for us to blow off some hot air at each other. Not realizing just how many posts this had involved, I ended up having to go back and start the links on earlier words.

Heard EEI again on my way home today. Can't tell you what they're saying now, 'cause in two hours it seemed like all they did was yell at each other.
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