Interesting column from Charles P. Pierce on Grantland today.
In the column, Pierce takes a few paragraphs to recall how things ended in Boston for Manny. (Emphasis mine)
His last great run was in Boston, where he helped the Red Sox win the only two world championships that the team has won since 1918. It ended ugly there. Ramirez was accused, in no particular order, of being disloyal (for meeting New York Yankee Enrique Wilson after a game), of being violent (for an altercation with a clubhouse man), for jaking it with injuries, and, literally, for being opposed to veterans and to children with cancer. His achievements at the plate, where he hit 274 home runs, were attributed to his uncanny “natural” ability to hit the baseball in the middle of all the drama he created around himself. His talent was infantilized. He was a child genius on the field, and he was the personification of mature menace off it. That was the identity that attended him in Boston.
He was shuffled out of town during the 2008 season in a three-way deal that landed him with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The deal was attended by some strategic leaking from the Red Sox front office — something of an administrative trademark under present ownership — whereby the local media could exercise their tender consciences over the departed blight that was Manny Ramirez. His name was among those that turned up in the strategic leaking of the allegedly “confidential” results of a 2003 drug testing survey. When he failed a drug test with the Dodgers in 2009, half the Boston media took victory laps on his head. When he retired from baseball last year rather than face a 100-game suspension for failing another test, much of the national media followed.
(Ridding the Red Sox of bad characters was considered one of the triumphs of current Red Sox ownership. This view held until last autumn’s complete collapse, when it was discovered that several of the gritty gamers that management had brought in spent their time downing beers and chowing down on fried chicken during games. This, it appears, will be the topic of media outrage until approximately 2016.)
Ah, the good old days.
Let’s see, it was Dennis and Callahan who often stated that Manny hated kids with cancer, the infantilization of Manny’s talent pure Shaughnessy. We’ve gotten used to the “strategic leaking” from the Red Sox front office, and 2016 seems a minimum possible lifespan of the phrase “beer and fried chicken” in connection to the Red Sox.