Manny Ramirez was in the on-deck circle last night when A.J. Pierzynski hit a bomb to nail down a victory for the Chicago White Sox. Manny was quickly yanked off the field as he was no longer needed to deliver a hit in his first game as a member of the White Sox. Yes, Manny Ramirez returned to Cleveland last night as a member of the White Sox! Did you hear? He was going to play and then he didn’t! I felt a lot of this kind of excited sentiment last night from Indians fans, and I couldn’t figure out why.
Don’t get me wrong. I have really loved writing about Manny Ramirez over the years. For me it is a personal story as I lived through the Manny Ramirez / Jeff Moorad free agency circus while living in Boston. I also love to talk about it as it relates to the failing business of baseball between the haves and have nots. For me though, it is a topic that lives in the past. I can still get worked up over it based on that, but in the present day I couldn’t possibly care less about Manny Ramirez or what he might be able to do at the plate for the White Sox against this version of the triple-a Tribe that is tossed on the field every night.
Yet, Twitter was abuzz with excitement over Manny Ramirez before the game. Did you hear that Manny Ramirez just arrived at the airport? Guess what? Manny Ramirez just arrived at the ballpark! We are not sure if Manny is playing tonight or not. He is eating right now. In talking to the press, Manny is speaking only in Spanish! Will Manny have to cut his hair to comply with White Sox team rules? He keeps using Joey Cora as his interpreter! Yes, I even had an update that Manny Ramirez was in fact eating in the clubhouse. And I can’t fault the reporters for reporting stuff that was seemingly interesting to Indians fans. Still, I don’t get it.
I guess Indians fans are desperate for anything to be excited about right now. I can’t help but take the opposite stance. With the Tribe being as bad as they have been all season, how can I possibly care about anything an opposing team is doing? The last time Manny returned to Cleveland with the Red Sox, the Tribe still had hopes of being good, so I heckled him. I called him Money Ramirez. I told Red Sox fans that they smelled just like Yankees fans. It was fun and exciting still.
Excited about Manny returning as a White Sox player after recently getting suspended for PEDs, rapidly approaching the age of 40, against my Tribe on the bottom rung of the league? Not so much. Based on popular response that I saw, I am in the minority on this one.