“Every sport, there have been people who have held organizations hostage, whether it be Terrell Owens or Randy Moss or Manny Ramirez,” sighs Fox Sports’ Tim McCarver to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Mike Jensen. While I’m trying to reconcile Moss’ claims of taking plays off with Ramirez essentially going on strike, you can let the broadcaster’s more pointed remarks on the subject sink in.
“It’s extraordinary – the dichotomy between what he was in Boston and what he is in Los Angeles,” McCarver said. “I mean, talk about wearing out your welcome in a town, and it was a long welcome with the Red Sox. But some of the things he did were simply despicable, despicable – like not playing, refusing to play. Forgetting what knee to limp on. And now it’s washed, it’s gone.”
Not gone in Boston, McCarver said, but he gives Ramirez his complete due for what he’s done in L.A.
“A rejuvenated Manny, I think it would be fair to say,” McCarver said, sitting in the Phillies dugout yesterday. “More than old Manny. Manny’s doing things that even Manny doesn’t do, [like] scoring on a double to right field from first base.”
McCarver said Phillies starters should not go into the series with the idea of automatically pitching around Ramirez, who had 17 home runs and 53 RBIs in 187 at-bats, with a .489 on-base percentage after joining the Dodgers on Aug. 1.
“There are going to be clearly times when you’re not going to pitch to Manny, with a man on second, a tie game in the eighth inning, obviously,” McCarver said. “But to go into it, from a starting pitcher’s standpoint, and tell a starting pitcher, ‘You can’t let this guy beat you.’ They’ll figure it out. I don’t think you go into the series with the idea that you can’t let Manny Ramirez beat you. I think that’s nonsense.”
McCarver is correct in stating Manny isn’t the first high profile athlete to sulk his way out of a city. But the situation was unique given Boston’s championship aspirations and the timing of the trade. Patrick Roy’s exit from Montreal comes to mind, but it’s doubtful the Canadiens would’ve raised the cup that season had Roy stayed.