Why Care About Manny?

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.

  • tribefan30

    I was there for his first game back to Cleveland as a Red Sox. I wore my ramirez shirt with his name on the back, taped over his name and filled it in with $$$$$. It helped get closure for me, because I am with you. I no longer follow or care what the guy does.

  • Boqueesha

    You get excited when Omar or Thome come back? I know I do and I get excited with Manny too…especially with him being on the same team as the great Vizquel. I like reunions of players from the former awesome Tribe team of the 90’s. I’m not big on the White Sox but I’d love to get a picture of the two of them together.

  • http://www.twitter.com/azv321 Amin

    Yeah I totally didn’t care that a guy who played for our team 10 years ago and was picked up on waivers this week by a division rival almost played last night. It was weird how excited people were getting about it.

  • boogeyman

    I remember that magazine cover…sigh…back to reality I mean losing!

  • architrance

    Wow, that SI cover really brings me back.

    God, I miss the 90’s Tribe…

    I saw someone mention somewhere, what if that was Omar’s last game at Jaco… the Prog?

    Seems like a bigger occassion than ManRam.

    I hope they can bring O back into the organization at some capacity. He’s actually always been that elusive “role model athlete” and still has a shot at the HoF.

  • Luca

    So here are the former members of the great Tribe teams of the 90s who have since played with the White Sox. Can anyone think of any others?

    A. Belle
    J. Thome
    S. Alomar
    M. Ramirez
    O. Vizquel
    K. Lofton
    B. Colon

  • Boqueesha

    #6

    The other Alomar as well but it was only for half of a couple seasons.

  • mark thomas frantz

    Add Ken Hill, Tony Pena and Herb Perry to your list

  • Luca

    If only we could figure out a way to pry Konerko loose from the White Sox–or at least get him sent over to the National League. He’s been a Tribe killer for years.

  • mgbode

    @Craig – I avoided this thread at first because I’m a bit emotional when it comes to Manny and wanted a more level-headed answer.

    First, #6,7,8 posts show why we should care. Pretty much EVERY major player from our 90’s Indians have at some point played for the hated White Sox. They were the nemesis when the AL Central was created and I hated them and Frank Thomas as I should since they were the team between the Indians and the first playoff appearance of my lifetime (stupid ’94 lockout left us 1 game back and that still chides me).

    As for Manny, the guy is no class act. He has proven that over the years. However, from any of his teams, we got the best of him. He was still a fun loving youngster who could rake and got to protect our best hitters in the lineup before becoming one of our best hitters in the lineup. Not to mention his gun from RF that every runner seemed to underestimate (probably because he was jogging to the ball, but still).

    My memories of Manny go back to his Canton/Akron days, I have told the main story on here before, so I won’t recant. But, needless to say, he has always been one of my favorite hitters to watch at the plate and was one of my favorite Indians I have watched play (along with Jacoby, Swindell, Omar, Sandy, and Victor).