For the last time, Manny Ramirez is gone and he's never coming back.
It seems like this saga will never end. It has been almost seven months since Ramirez was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers but apparently that's not enough time to shake this thing loose. It's like a dog that wipes its butt on the carpet, but no matter how long he wipes, that turd is still going to be there.
Yahoo! Sports' Gordon Edes wrote a story recently saying the Red Sox don't miss Manny. Which, if true, is great but when is the whole discussion about Manny going to end? Will it ever end?
Let's look at what Manny did for the Sox, in both recent memory and in years past. Instead of giving you fancy statistics that you can only figure out with a Texas Instrument scientific calculator, though, I'll divide it simply into two parts:
Mashing and complaining.
Yup. It's really that simple. Manny, as we all know, is not a very complex individual, so why should what he do be complex? Some of you might think that I'm making this whole Manny thing a little too simple. But let me ask you a question: what do you specifically remember of Manny Ramirez?
A big home run? Manny's uncanny ability to fight off pitches and then shoot off a laser to deep center field? Manny waiting for his pitch and finding the gaps in the outfield? Or do you remember stuff like Manny throwing the traveling secretary Jack McCormick to the ground? Or when Manny would sit out because of a "bad" knee?
I hate to make this case black and white, but you have to call it like you see it. Manny was a great hitter, but he was also cancerous in the clubhouse. Some people might not think that type of thing matters, but it really does. That's what seperates champions from the chumps when October begins.
Here's a good reason not to miss Manny: Jason Bay. A true class act, a 30-home run hitter and a guy that actually wants to be in Boston. Wow. What a thing to have in the middle of your lineup. I'll take him! Oh wait. We got him...
I propose this from now on: let's not look back at Manny and ask "what if?" It's useless now. He served his time as a Red Sox, which, for the most part, was seven and a half great years. He had a lot of good times, a lot of bad times and a lot of times where we just left the situation shaking our heads.
Time to look forward. The Manny Era is dead.