Manny Ramirez Temporarily Feels Disappointed by Season-Ending Loss to Phils
PHILADELPHIA (Sportsman’s Daily Wire Service) Never get too high. Never get too low. It’s the mantra of baseball players everywhere — and a good thing too, given the inevitable ups and downs of a 162 game season. Unlike football or basketball, baseball is best played with a contained intensity.
Dodgers’ slugger Manny Ramirez takes a decidedly different approach to the game — and anyone who’s followed his remarkably productive career would have a hard time arguing with the results. People who know him best speak of his unflinching, unwavering, bullet-proof, all-weather “indifference.” No matter the pressure, the game situation or even the life circumstance.
So it came as a total shock when Ramirez registered clear, if fleeting disappointment, when the Dodgers’ season came to an end, having been beaten in the fourth game of the NLCS by the Phillies, 10-4.
“I feel empty right now,” Ramirez said to a cadre of slack-jawed reporters.
“People who say Manny doesn’t care just don’t understand,” said Julio Torres, a childhood friend and confidante. “He may feel empty for several moments, but let’s face it — he doesn’t care. The things that you or I care about, they just don’t register with Manny. He doesn’t care who’s pitching, whether he’s in a slump or on a tear, if it’s mid-July or the heat of a pennant race. He just doesn’t care. About anything — what he eats, what he drinks, where he relieves himself — slip him a cup under the table and he doesn’t care if it’s the best sushi place in Philly, he’s going to take care of business, mind you that he doesn’t know the first thing about business. For years his accountant has tried persuading him to empty his shoe boxes and put the money in an interest-bearing account. But it falls on deaf ears. That’s Manny.”
Sometimes, even his closest associates find his complete and total indifference frustrating.
“You ask him what he wants to do, where he wants to go, he just shrugs,” continued Torres. “We once dragged him to a high-end strip club; he’s the only guy that can doze off during a lap dance. But hey, the dude puts up numbers, year in, year out. Not giving a crap will one day get Manny into the Hall. Although I’m not sure he really gives a crap.”
Dodgers fans, and Sox fans before them, are used to “Manny being Manny.” So long as he sees the ball and hits the ball — hard and often — they’ve been willing to indulge his near-comical fielding woes, his perplexing lapses on the base paths, and his general air of distracted weirdness.
“Indifference may not be what you want as a fan,” said L.A. resident Ben Baxter. “but it’s a whole lot better than, say, indecision. Indifference can buy you the extra split second you need to identify a late-breaking splitter; indecision will keep the bat on your shoulder as the ump rings you up.”
Dodgers fan Ken O’Hara views Ramirez’s indifference through a completely different lens.
“Growing up a die-hard Dodgers fan you wanted your team to show some passion, you wanted to see that it means as much to them as it does to you. But as the years go by and you suffer through one disappointment after another, you realize the need for a more balanced approach. Like many of the players, I don’t let myself get too high after a win or too low after a loss. Obviously Manny takes it a couple of steps further — if I could get away with being a fan and just not giving a crap, heck, who wouldn’t want that? But unfortunately we can’t all be Manny Ramirez.”