By Jason Wojciechowski on March 6, 2009 at 10:15 PM
Here's Jeff Passan on Manny Ramirez: "And before Ramirez loyalists quibble over the word 'quit' by pointing to his numbers, may we remember: Ramirez could hit .300 blindfolded and slug home runs with a 2x4. The surer sign of Ramirez's effort came when he started mimicking a tortoise on his way to first base, or swinging through three Mariano Rivera pitches like he was late for a dinner date, or claiming his knee was injured, then forgetting at the medical examination which one, exactly, hurt."
Here are the facts: Manny Ramirez faced Mariano Rivera in Red Sox losses exactly twice last year. The first time, he was hit by a pitch. The second time, he struck out looking. And that second time? It was a tie game. He wasn't going to get anywhere any quicker by making an out in that situation.
Passan's argument isn't argument, it's just words. Here's his penultimate paragraph: "In the end, both sides are nothing more than users. The Dodgers want Manny's bat. Manny wants the Dodgers' money. There is nothing more to it, the cosmic connection between the two parties consisting of commerce." This is plainly idiotic. Every single team chooses players based on wanting that player's skills. 99% of players choose their teams based on money (occasionally family concerns or comfort with an organization or other considerations come into play). To hold out the Manny deal as deserving of some kind of criticism because it's about business (the business of winning baseball games and putting food on the table) is just ignorant.