Anyway, I'd rather not dwell on the Pros and Cons of Manny; for some good reading, go to 12eight for Andrew's pro-Manny rant, followed by some amusing comments. Lots of good points also over at Joy of Sox. What a number of anti-Manny people are arguing is that Manny was "wrong to say no to the manager". Maybe he was; but there's something that really bugs me about the whole thing: why the hell did Francona want him to play so badly today? Via JoS, Tito's comments on WEEI:
Manny was going to have a day off in Chicago the other day, we talked him out of it, at the time I said "to me Wednesday would be a better day." And then after last night's game we did go to him and say "Hey look, we're in a little bit of a bind now...Well, sure we are. But what no one seems to be talking about is: Nixon is out for 15 days minimum, possibly up to 6 weeks. Barring an acquisition of a new right fielder, the Sox are going to be in said bind for a long time. I really hope they're not expecting Manny to play every game until then -- his hamstrings won't last through September. So then why the big fuss about this one game? It was Tampa Bay. Their starter was Seth McClung, who went into the game 1-5 with a 7.07 ERA. And the following day (today) was an off day. That was the perfect day for Manny to get a day's rest.
So why was Francona so big on Manny playing this one game? My guess is: he wasn't. I'm not sure what his reason was for going to the media with this non-story, but I'm sure he had one. (That, or he's really stupid and/or petulant.)