Sports Outside the Beltway

Manny is Manny

Michael Silverman in the Boston Herald pens something I have known for a long time.

There is no secret to Ramirez.

Manny was being Manny long before he came to Boston, and he’s going to keep on being Manny after he leaves – and well after he delivers what is going to be one hell of a Hall of Fame induction speech.

Ramirez can infuriate, he can behave inexcusably and he can change his mind before he makes it up. In the end, however, he wants to be one of the best hitters in baseball. That truth is as plain and simple as Ramirez is.

Manny is not simple in the sense that he is not bright. He is bright and dedicated. But his authenticity confuses and befuddles the folks who are used to dissemblers and charlatans. In a world where we celebrate the folks who reinvent themselves every few years, a person with a focus and a purpose is going to confuse them.

Manny did thus. He just wants to hit. He wants to excel at his craft. He wants to be the best he can be. Too many fans approach that explanation with a jaundiced view. They point out his lapses in the field or his occasional lollygag to first. These are fair criticisms. In the interests of full disclosure, I am a Manny apologist. He won me over with his dedication to hitting and his consistency at the plate. He is the consummate professional hitter.

The pursuit of perfection in a discipline should engender respect and curiosity. Manny’s devotion to his craft is in the same mold as Isaac Newton’s devotion to physics. Both were geniuses at what they did, and both were deeply misunderstood by their critics and adored by their supporters. Newton invented Calculus. Manny hits a small round ball real hard. For many a mathematically challenged student, advantage Manny.

Folks in the Mainstream Media ought to relax — he doesn’t return my phone calls for interviews either. Appreciate the artist for what he does well. And that’s rake.

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