06 July 2009

Sideshow Manny

As I have previously stated, there are a lot of things I accept about Manny's return.

What I don't accept is that Manny can't play a full game, or that he already needs a day off. I accept that he's rusty, but I don't accept him being gassed after five and a half innings. Manny was suspended, not injured. He missed about two months of games, but nothing was stopping him from staying in playing shape during that time. He wasn't paid during the suspension ( his own damn fault ) but he knew he would be paid in full the moment his suspension ended, so he had a duty to be at full strength the moment his suspension ended. He even was given a week of rehab games to finish the job of getting back into playing shape. Was all the controversy over that for nothing?

This is ridiculous. I feel like one of those hack sportswriters getting all upset and high-horsey about the lazy crooked ballplayers of today, and I don't want to feel like that. I don't want to write this kind of stuff, but when Manny plays only 10 of 30 possible innings in the field I feel that I have no choice. It doesn't make sense to me. Someone has screwed up here. Maybe Manny is ready, and Torre is being way too cautious. I don't know. What I do know is that I saw way too much of Juan Pierre last weekend.

Manny was a sideshow in that series. He didn't really have any impact on the games, and that is not all his fault --- some of it is circumstance. But playing so little didn't help. It's almost like he was being paraded out, showcased, while the real game took place somewhere else. He goes 0-3 and the Dodgers win. He hits a home run and the Dodgers lose. Manny simply had zero effect on the series. His at bats were theater. At times it seemed like no one really cared about what he did at the plate. It was all about the reaction, the cheers, the boos, the signs.

Or were the Dodgers the sideshow, and Manny the main event? Do I have this all backwards?

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