Friday, October 03, 2008

Off-Day Thoughts: Pedroia and Ramirez

In the future, when baseball analysts want to gush over a player of small stature who may or may not be worth the spilled ink, they will not discuss his grit or pluck. Instead, they'll call him a caballito and develop a case of the self-satisfied grins, while we all laugh at the possibility that Ortiz actually was screwing with Buck Martinez, punking a whole generation of writers and broadcasters in the process.

Bill Simmons might very well be crazy (although you no doubt knew that): ESPN just published his 9,000 word summation of Manny and the Aftermath in what has to be one of the most exhaustive eulogies ever written by a fan. The first part is a bit cathartic, planting the blame on the ownership and the media for their roles in the debacle, but check out the second half (starting with the "A lesson in revisionist history" section) for Simmons' point: Manny may or may not have manipulated the situation and - no matter how this post-season turns out - he definitely won the war even as he lost the battle, but the real blameworthy individual is Scott Boras, the man who Simmons sees as the evil genius behind the forced trade that broke his heart.

Whether or not Boras nudged Manny into his final confrontation with Boston's management is a matter for conspiracy theorists (although Simmons' premise that Boras could only benefit from signing Manny if he got the slugger a new contract by any means necessary has merit), but Bill has one indisputable conclusion: Manny's departure for LA demonstrates once again that no matter how much we love a player, his first priority will always be to his wallet, not to his fans. Whether or not we can blame anyone for making that choice (especially since we'd all end up doing the exact same thing) is another matter.