Monday, November 17, 2008

Manny and the Baseball Industrial Complex

Some friends and I were watching JFK last night, getting beaten over the head with the movie's theories-as-facts presentation and its insistent theme that the military-industrial complex killed America's White Knight president because he wouldn't play their financial game. I don't have this blog to discuss politics - historical or otherwise - so I won't get into my thoughts on the subject, but I bring up this particular selection from Oliver Stone's cinematographic resume because of the headline I spotted on after we finished watching the movie: "Sox made move to suspend Manny."

In the piece, we're told that - as cited in an ESPN report - the Sox delivered a letter to Manny (with copies to MLB, the MLB PA, and Scott Boras) on Friday, July 25, telling him he would be suspended without pay for refusing to play starting the following day. Two hours later, Ramirez called the team and told officials he would play. Six days later, Boston sent Manny packing to Los Angeles.

I'm not particularly interested in analyzing the ins and outs of the circumstances leading up to the trade any further, but what really struck me about this announcement was the timing: its similarity to the Machievellian tactics used by the hidden Them in JFK to discredit the main characters. Why else would the Sox leak this information now, if not to sabotage Manny's contract negotiations in a "you hurt us so we'll hurt you" ploy of power? I'm not saying that what Ramirez did at the end of July was right, or that he should be rewarded with a fat contract, but this move seems like stooping to his level. Frankly, I'm a little disgusted.