While Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal joins the nationwide chorus of those bashing Manny Ramirez (“one day, Ramirez is going to cost the Red Sox a game, a very big game, and the joke will be over”), the Boston Herald’s Rob Bradford takes an opposing stance, declaring “He™s Larry Bird. He™s Bobby Orr. He™s Tom (gulp) Brady. Have you a clue that this player should be revered as one of the greats of all-time in Boston sports history?”
For some misguided souls, the classification of Ramirez being one of the best ever in Boston sports history was hardly a consideration after Wednesday afternoon™s comments. They latched on to a few words insinuating that the world™s rotation wouldn™t come to a halt if the Sox lost, and propped up their anti-Manny arguments.
What they didn™t realize was that just maybe Ramirez was adding to his legend. More than one player in the Red Sox clubhouse took notice of the timing of Manny™s media availability.
It wasn™t exactly as conventional as Cedric Maxwell telling his 1981 Celtics [team stats] to jump on his back for Game 7, but why should we expect conventional from Ramirez. Unfortunately what is lost sometimes in his oddly unique way of making it through the day, is the same kind of work ethic, smarts and attention to detail the Boston legends are praised up and down for.
Did you notice each time Ramirez stepped to the plate at Jacobs Field he paused to look up at the top of the left field foul pole. That eyesight exercise is just one of dozens of mostly unpublicized, more-than-expected avenues Ramirez takes to find his greatness.
Some will never jump aboard the Ramirez baseball immortality express. Fox announcer Tim McCarver, for instance, spent the entire time while the umpires debated whether or not Manny™s RBI in the third had cleared the right field wall railing on the outfielder for not standing at second base. Not a mention of the clutch hit, just another opportunity to bust on Ramirez™ previous day™s quote.
Oh yeah, since starting his postseason run with the Red Sox in 2003, Ramirez has the highest playoffs average of any player ever to wear a Sox uniform, while managing more postseason RBI in that span than any other major leaguer.