While the Red Sox will be more dependent than usual on the offensive production of Manny Ramirez, what with David Ortiz scheduled to miss a month or perhaps longer, former Boston LF Jim Rice told a Massachusettes luncheon crowd he’s unimpressed with Manny’s glovework. From the Watertown Daily Times’ Daniel Kajdas (link taken from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

“I’m tired of people saying, ‘Manny being Manny,'” Rice said. “It’s not like I’d take my 11-year old kid to go out and watch ‘Manny being Manny,’ that’s not baseball. (Sunday) he hit home run 501, but, even though he hit 501 they still almost lost the game. Did you see those two plays he made out in left field? Now, do you want your kid to be ‘Manny being Manny’ missing those balls?”

Rice’s most memorable moment on the diamond wasn’t a home run or a spectacular catch in left field. It was being in the right place at the right time and doing the right thing for a boy in the stands on August 7, 1982 at Fenway Park.

A line-drive off the bat of Red Sox first baseman Dave Stapleton struck 4-year old fan Jonathan Keane in the face during the nationally televised game.

“His dad was just like, shocked,” Rice said. “Everybody just stood there. I was in the dugout, so I came out and picked the kid up and took him to the clubhouse.”

After the game, team doctor Arthur Pappas said that Rice could have saved the boy’s life.

“I got a letter from the kid maybe three years ago,” Rice said. “He graduated from Duke with honors. We have that picture up there in the main lobby of the Red Sox.”

While Steve Keene prepares to stay up late watching the Mets via the auspices of his favorite beverage (“It™s either a Manhattan Special or a trip to Tatum O™Neals house to keep me up this week”), It’s Mets For Me is somewhat less than overcome with anticipation over the return of Pedro Martinez.

So we have to look forward to tonight’s Zito-Pedro battle, where some $179 million of waste, give or take $13 mil. Let’s be honest, at $53/4 years is too much to pay a clubhouse jester, even a very good one.

The $53 million bought Omar Minaya some badly needed credibility, too. Do the Mets add Carlos Beltran to the mix or successfully launch SNY without the benefit of Pedro’s star power? Perhaps not, but purely on baseball merit, the point is well taken. Martinez hasn’t been at anything approaching full strength since the autumn of 2006, and there’s every chance he’ll not make a serious contribution between the lines again.