Yesterday in Cleveland Manny Ramirez talked to the media for the second time this postseason, and as usual, a few boneheads in the media decided that some comments made by Ramirez were worthy of uprising and rioting amongst Red Sox Nation.

During the media session, Ramirez stated that if the Red Sox don’t win the series, that “it’s not the end of the world.”

That sparked a storm of articles and commentary among those in the media (more news media than sports media this time) who have an inflated sense of the importance of baseball in the real world. An example of that is this one on WBZ.com, which opens by stating:

Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez is going to be taking some serious heat from Red Sox fans who refuse to lose the faith, for some comments he made Wednesday to reporters.

To back up a little, yesterday Manny Ramirez gave an interview to the media, his second of the postseason. He was asked about the situation that the Red Sox find themselves in and provided a number of quotes on the topic, such as these noted on RedSox.com:

(On setting the postseason home run record)
“It’s good, but if I would have known that I was going to be in the World Series and not have those records, I’d trade them in a heartbeat,” Ramirez said. “Who cares about the records, man? We just want to go out, have fun and win.”

(On whether his teammates can pick things up at the plate.)
“It’s going to happen. It’s going to happen,” vowed Ramirez. “We’ve got a lot of confidence in our teammates. They’ve been good all year round. Now, because we’re down, three games to one … that’s what we have to do. We have to keep grinding it out and see what’s going to happen.”

(On what has happened thus far in the series.)
“We’ve got a great team over here and the other side is playing great,” Ramirez said. “They’re pitching the way they should and they’re coming through with big hits. What can you do? You just think about Thursday and you just try to come and play hard and have fun. It’s not over yet.”

“We’ve been in this situation before,” Ramirez said. “We don’t have nothing to lose. Everybody’s playing great. We just have to go out and play the game and see what happens.”

Pretty standard stuff, saying the right things about trading individual awards for team victories, about keeping confidence in his teammates, about working hard, grinding it out, etc.

Yet, if you go to WBZ.com, or go to ESPN.com the video clips there show only the following bit from the media session:

http://sports.espn.go.com/broadband/player.swf?mediaId=3068445

They’re not trying to paint a certain perspective, are they?

They’ve managed to make it a hot-button topic over at ESPN Conversation, where, at 9:00am this morning, there were already nearly 700 comments from readers on this subject.

Locally, the sports guys have managed to pretty much keep it in perspective, with a few obvious exceptions. Dan Shaughnessy of course, only mentions the “who cares” bit. Michael Felger was screaming like a banshee last night on Comcast SportsNet that we only not killing Manny over this because he’s been the Red Sox hottest hitter in the postseason.

However, it’s more the non-sports people who are blowing this up. In my car this morning, I heard a news guy saying that this “isn’t Manny being Manny, it’s Manny being stupid. But of course, that IS Manny being Manny.”

Over at FOX25, the lead in to a segment on this story by former sports guy Mark Ockerbloom stated: “If the Sox are going to make it to the World Series, they need to win at the Jake. But are some of them already thinking about next year instead of the next game? Some questionable comments tonight from Manny Ramirez.” He then throws it to Butch Stearns, who actually plays the voice of reason on this one, urging the viewers to listen to all that Manny has to say.

This morning’s FOX25 newscast went back to the outrage theme, demanding to know what message this would send to the younger players on the team. How about to stay calm and not panic…Pedroia could use that message, no?

Last night on WHDH, the theme was also “outrage in The Nation” over Manny’s comments.

Scan the sports sections this morning, however, and you don’t find many feature articles on the topic, and none really “outraged” over the comments.

Bill Burt, also a voice of reason? For the most part.

Rob Bradford says that Manny’s comments spoke volumes for the whole clubhouse.

Joe McDonald simply says Manny isn’t worried.

David Brown has Manny putting things in perspective.

The lesson the Manny should be clear. Just don’t talk to the media ever again. It only leads to trouble. The front page of the Herald (news section) makes that clear:

manny_herald.jpg

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