"It doesn’t happen, so who cares? There’s always next year. It’s not like it’s the end of the world."
That, my friends, was a comment made last week by Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez when the Sox were one game away from post-season elimination. Since then, the Red Sox battled back and have gone on to beat the Cleveland Indians in a best of 7 series. This season Manny earned $18,279,238.00.
Being a big Yankee fan I had my usual knee-jerk reaction, which basically came down to cursing Manny. I’m not a fan (obviously) and it usually makes my skin crawl to see Manny succeed… which is often.
Once I picked up my eyes (that had rolled out of my head) I began to wonder if Manny was onto something. Granted, I think the guy should keep his bullshit comments to himself. But I must say that after watching the Yankees bad pitching and lack of any offensive threat – maybe what they needed most of all was to not play this game as if it were life and death.
I can’t exactly picture my Captain, Derek Jeter, expressing a lack of concern for their elimination and I wouldn’t want to. The guy is a proven champion and plays to win. You would, however, be pretty hard pressed to find a second of footage of any Yankee showing even as much as a smile this past series. Let alone playing ball as though it was… I don’t know… A GAME! Here was a team that had the best record in baseball since July and they were playing as though they didn’t deserve to be there. They’ve looked like that often these past few post seasons. So what went wrong? How could a team with so much regular season success play so poorly when it counts most? Basically, they’re choking. Year after year this 1st place team (2nd this season) enters October baseball and cannot get out of their own heads. Luckily Manny, like a dreadlocked Forest Gump, has no such problem.
As annoying as it is to hear someone that is paid so much take his job so for granted, his devil-may-care attitude may be exactly why Manny (hitting .400, with 4 homeruns, and 14 RBIs this post season) will be taking his position in left for his second world series appearance in 4 years while Alex Rodriguez is exploring new job opportunities. Sometimes one just has to trust in their own abilities and learn to go with the flow. As for the Sox, the only question is if they do win the ring this year will a guy like Manny even give a damn? I bet you 18 million dollars the answer is probably not.