Want this fan's World Series tickets? Give Manny what for
Columnist will give up his Game 4 seats to the writer of what he deems the best 50-word sermon to the lackadaisical Dodger.
You'd think a guy who held out for $45 million over two seasons, and then got suspended for 50 games just when this looked like a magical season, would bend over backward to earn the mercy and respect of teammates and fans. Not Manny. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times / October 2, 2009)
I've got two of them for Game 4, should the Dodgers make it through the playoffs, which begin with today's opener against the St. Louis Cardinals. I'm talking about some pretty good seats too. Field level, third base side. Close enough to hear the pop of the catcher's mitt.
So why the early Christmas?
I'll tell you why. I've had a 10-game portion of a season ticket plan for several years, and I love going to the ballpark. I like most of the Dodgers too. But I've got problems with the Dodgers' biggest star, who was suspended for much of the season for having a little something extra in his Cheerios, and I can't bring myself to pay good money for the privilege of watching a fraud.
Yeah, I'm talking about Manny Ramirez.
I still can't get over the number of fans who gave him a pass this year. They'd wear their Manny dreadlocks, looking ridiculous, by the way. They'd sit out there in Mannywood so they could be close enough to call his name.
Wake up, folks, and take a look at yourselves.
Do you really think Ramirez gives a fig about his fans? Ask that question in Boston, where Ramirez got run out of town after dogging it and letting his team down.
So here I am with World Series tickets in my hand and a wave of hysteria sweeping the city. I'm sorry for being the cockroach in the punch bowl, but I can't bring myself to join the party. The only thing that could get me to the ballpark in the post-season would be if Manager Joe Torre were to staple Manny's dreadlocks to the dugout wall and play Juan Pierre in his place. I'd rather lose with a scrappy singles hitter like Pierre than win with a loafing slugger like Ramirez.
The scandal was bad enough, with Major League Baseball revealing early in the season that Ramirez had tested positive for a female fertility drug that has been used by athletes to juice their testosterone production after steroid use.
But you'd think a guy who held out for $45 million over two seasons, and then got suspended for 50 games just when this looked like a magical season, would bend over backward to earn the mercy and respect of teammates and fans.
He served up a halfhearted apology and no real explanation as to what happened -- "Recently I saw a physician for a personal health issue. He gave me a medication, not a steroid, which he thought was OK to give me."
Blaming it on the doctor was as hollow as Ramirez's bat has been since he came back. Maybe he's just not the same player without his "fertility medication."
But it gets worse. Ramirez actually said he expected the forgiveness of fans. And what did he do to earn it?
He played like he didn't care.
Offense? Average. For the year he's had a meager 63 runs batted in and 19 homers. Defense? A Harris Ranch cow could do as well out there.