It isn’t enough that the city sent Manny away with nothing more than a kick in the pants, “welcoming” his replacement with “Manny Who?” signs at Fenway. It isn’t enough that his 274 homeruns, 868 RBI over the past seven-and-a-half seasons, his World Series MVP, his bat that helped end an 86-year dry spell have ultimately ended with Manny being labeled a bum and a malcontent. Now, Curt Schilling has to pile on.
Steve Silva over at Extra Bases reports the conversation Curt had on WEEI this morning:
Here’s how Schilling described it, in his own words:
“We were in Tampa a couple of years back and it was the night Trot [Nixon] got hurt and we had an off day the next day and Manny was scheduled to have the day off that night, and Trot couldn’t play.
“Manny was supposed to have an off day and he was asked to fill in for Trot because we had nobody to play and he didn’t and we were in the clubhouse and it was David [Ortiz] and Manny and I and Ino [Guerrero] and the [Seth McClung] was pitching, and he was one of those guys who threw 96 miles per hour and no one could ever figure out why he wasn’t better than he was and against us he’d always go out the first three innings and look like Cy Young. Of course this night he’s looking like Cy Young, he punched out five or six guys in the first three innings and David looks at me and says ‘Why in the hell does this guy turn into Cy Young against us?’ and I said ‘Hey, it just makes Manny look that much smarter, he ain’t stupid, he knows what days to take off,’ and Manny took offense to that and … there was something that had to be broken up and the next day I saw Manny and it was as if the previous day never happened. One of the beautiful things about
So, let me understand. Schilling was being his usual loudmouth, holier-than-thou self, and someone had the balls to call him on it. That makes Manny a bad guy? Sorry, not buying it.
I agree the trade was necessary and improved the atmosphere in the clubhouse. But I also think the Red Sox could have accomplished the same thing by simply telling Manny they weren’t picking up his option and letting him do his thing to get the big money next year – his thing being homeruns and RBI. But that didn’t happen, and now he’s gone (as is Moss, Hansen and seven million bucks), doing his thing in LA, and doing it quite well. So can’t we just let him be? Give him the “peace” he was looking for? Especially Schilling, who used the media to negotiate his own contract. Right around the time his shoulder fell apart. Too bad it wasn’t a mouth injury that sidelined him.
Let it go, people. Manny helped the Red Sox win two World Championships. And we had fun watching him. Wasn’t that enough?
Looking ahead, Mr. Josh Beckett toes the rubber this evening. The ‘Gansetts are on ice.