and I'm a Manny-holic.
That was the diagnosis given to me by Dr. Sparkylyle fan at the Hazelspeeps Group Treatment center on Yahoo.
The condition is not life-threatening, but could take weeks, months or even years of rehab at a treatment facility staffed by members of Red Sox Nation who know exactly what Manny Ramirez is all about. "Manny-holism" is a complex affliction, often going undiagnosed, and manifests itself in many different behavioral tendencies - I really had no idea that I had contracted or developed this affliction. Buts thanks to Dr. Sparky, I know what I am up against.
Dr. Sparky told me that most common symptom of "Manny-holism" is denial of the "facts" about Manny; a refusal to acknowledge that Manny is, in terms of baseball, as close as you can get to pure evil.
I guess in my case, it was a refusal to acknowledge information put out by men abover reproach, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost of baseball who have told the baseball world that, among other things:
from the desk (keyboard) of the Father of baseball - that Manny's legacy is tainted after tanking on the beloved Red Sox. The Father and guardian of all that is sacred in baseball says that Manny's legacy should be that he was lazy, unmotivated and disrespect THE GAME OF BASEBALL. The Father went so far as to say that one of the greatest hitters of this generation doesn't deserve to be in the Hall of Fame anymore that Mark McGwire.
from the mouth of the Son - that Manny was an awful teammate and generally not liked in the clubhouse. The Son, who also upholds all the traditions of good baseball players- being humble and giving credit to the team that helps you win games, being a good teammate, keeping not talking to the media about internal problems - ignored all these things when he phoned up his pals on talk radio to bring to light an isolated incident in 2005...Manny is a very very bad bad man.
from the desk (keyboard) of the holy ghost - that Manny hated Boston and Red Sox Nation. There was little evidence that Manny had such outward contempt for the Nation, but the Holy Ghost of baseball exposed Manny as a fraud - the Holy Ghost watched every move Manny made and was right there to tell the Nation how his on-field actions was simply his way of expressing a deep rooted hatred for the team and the fans.
Dr. Sparky asked me to look within to find the root cause of my problem. I guess it all started years ago - when I turned on the television to watch the visiting Cleveland Indians take on the Toronto Blue Jays (they were probably Hazel Mae's Jays in those days) - but here was this kid who was laid back, played with a smile - which only left his face when he stepped into the batter's box - and could seemingly get a hit at will. He was a perfect compliment to the uber-intense Albert Joey Belle and Kenny Lofton. Manny killed the Jays in that weekend - something he would come to repeat often.
I thought I just liked him as a player - I guess it got really bad in 2004. I along with every other baseball fan (outside of St. Louis and New York) got caught up in the Red Sox playoff run - one that would see them end a long World Series Championship drought. Manny and David Ortiz led charmed ("Hazel Karma" blessed????) Red Sox team to an amazing series win over New York after being down 3-0 and eventually a World Series sweep of the Cardinals - a year in which Manny won the World Series MVP after destroying St. Louis. Manny was unflappable in the box - during the playoffs nothing fazed him, he went out and did his job...he hit, he produced. I seem to remember most of Red Sox Nation celebrating "Manny being Manny" - while I never fully bought into it, it was amusing and entertaining. Over the next few years I thought I was just in line with Red Sox fans that loved this guy - Dr. Sparky has told me the medical term is "man-love for Manny".
I tried to explain to Dr. Sparky that my admiration for Manny was based on what he did when he stepped into that batter's box - the good Doctor told me that I was in a state of denial to all of the bad things that went with Manny being Manny. No hustle, no commitment, no drive, no heart, all the things that Red Sox Nation expects of their players. I was trying to understand this - not being part of the Nation and all - but it was something akin to what former Bruins coach Don Cherry wanted of his teams...hey, I'm just a dumb Canadian, I only understand hockey. I guess I was in denial because while I admire players like that, I'm not foolish enough to think that you can win championships with a team made up of heart and soul guys that fans love - ummm Jason Varitek comes to mind.
I tried to explain, in vain I might add, that despite all of the problems Manny is alleged to bring with him to the ballpark - he still produces and was a huge part in the success of the Sox. Dr. Sparky is having none of that talk either.
As a last ditch attempt to have him change his professional opinion of my affliction - I wondered aloud if Manny's rebellious streak against Sox management had anything to do with the fact that they have made no secret of the fact they wanted him gone from the team; putting him on waivers, letting everyone know they were open to trade talks involving Manny, sharing results of his MRI with the media and fans. "Nonsense, its just business...Manny's job is to play every day. The Sox are within their rights to do anything to make the team better."
The final straw in my case was when I expressed my happiness that my beloved Dodgers, or as we have seen Hazel and others refer to them as "Red Sox West" (hmmmm where have we read that before huh?), had acquired Manny from the Sox. That was when it became clear to the good doctor that I was suffering from "Manny-holism". How could I in good conscience, as a baseball fan, celebrate the fact that my team was acquiring a miserable guy like Manny...a guy who screwed God's team (the Sox) to get what he wants?
I still haven't decided to enter Dr. Sparky's rehab center- I'm considering a seeking a second opinion. Maybe from someone who knows Manny and IS playing with him right now - Dodgers catcher Russell Martin comes to mind...I might just do that. Of course, if Hazel wanted to wade in with her opinion - I'd be more than happy to hear her out.
Right now, going on what I have right now, I can only say
My name is Pogue...and I'm a Manny-holic.
Songs of the Day for everyone in Red Sox Nation and those suffering from Manny-holism, you decide which is your song of the day:
For those who are still coming to grips with Manny's departure to Los Angeles - The One I Love - David Gray
For those like Dr. Sparky who are feeling disillusioned and betrayed by Manny - Walking with a Ghost - Tegan and Sara
For those who have comes to terms with Manny's decision and want to move
on - I Write Sin Not Tragedies - Panic! At The Disco
I chyme in with a
Haven't you people ever heard of closing the gawddamned door?
NO?! Its much better to face these kinds of things
with a sense of poise and rationality
For those who aren't hating Manny and aren't listening to the propaganda - Jerk It Out - The CaesarsShut up, hush your mouthCan't you hear you talk too loudNo I can't hear nothin Cuz I got my head up in the clouds
Hazel, here's hoping things are groovy in your world - on the right side of the border.