Thursday, July 28, 2005

Tempest in a Teaspoon

Gordon Edes: blah blah, Tom Verducci: blah blah...Manny apparently isn't loving Boston, what else is new. Then Manny sat out yesterday's game, against Francona's wishes. Red Sox Nation, who seems to need something to be utterly furious about (last month it was Bellhorn) is going ballistic. I think the whole thing is silly -- as has been said on this site more than once, Manny isn't the problem. I can only imagine what the callers to WEEI are saying -- anyone listening?

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.)

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