Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Man(ny) Crushes

Hitting savant Manny Rameriz has decided to retire from baseball rather than face the music, a 100 day suspension, for getting popped a third time for using performance-enhancing drugs.

Manny brought some positive things to the game, a natural hitting ability, immunity to pressure and a goofy attitude, child-like attitude known as Manny being Manny. We all remember his mid-game disappearance into the left field wall to take a leak.

But Manny being Manny also included shoving the Sox traveling secretary to the ground when he couldn't get the world to fulfill Manchild's desired travel plans. He also turned petulant and acted like a spoiled brat, quitting on his teams when he didn't get his way.  And now it turns out he was juicing the whole time, and kept doing so even after he being caught twice before. His attitude (if genuine) to his departure is classic Manny self-centeredness, "God knows what's best (for me)."

It's a sad indictment of many people's blind loyalty to celebrity that he still has vocal defenders.  When he was traded from the Sox, many pink hatters blasted the management, claiming he not only was the main reason for the WS wins in '04 and '07, but was the sole reason they followed the Sox at all. They had no problem defending whatever he did, because they loved his his goofy attitude and his occasional homers, in other words his entertainment value. These so-called baseball fans came out of the woodwork again when Manny announced his retirement this weekend, as seen by some of the comments on these stories:

"Great Great player. the man one the sox 2 world series, after not winning for 86 years. and this is how people are talking about him. it really is disappointing"
"On a day where the RedSox section of the Globe should have nothing but good things to read, here's yet ANOTHER example of Boston writers' never-ending shot-taking at players."
"Makes me sick seeing everyone diss on him so bad here. I don't care that he cheated or that people think he plays for money or even that he sort of dissed Boston on the way out. He had one of the sweetest swings in the history of the game and we got to watch it for 8 years. The worst I could really say about him is that he seems like a child in a man's body. Manny the Man-child. I don't know about the rest of Red Sox (aka Amnesia) Nation but I will miss you."

Yes, ego is big among professional athletes, they are entertainers and he's not the only one who doped.  But Manny took it up to the level of a completely self-centered sociopath. I think that many who still defend him and other celebrities (like say -Donald Trump) who behave like this are projecting their own desires onto them. The desire to be someone with no other obligations whatsoever to other human beings, to be the center of attention and to get every material thing they want.

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