Sox Fans Flabbergasted to Learn that Manny Ramirez Actually Has a Mental Approach to Playing Baseball
"Measured, systematic indifference” key to slugger's success.
Sorry Sox Fans. Manny Ramirez just doesn't care. Not even a little bit.
CLEVELAND, OH (Sportsman’s Daily Wire Service) — Never get too high. Never get too low. It’s the mantra of baseball players everywhere – and a good thing too, given the inevitable ups and downs of a 162 game season. Unlike football or basketball, baseball is best played with a contained intensity.
Facing elimination leading up to game five in the ALCS against the Cleveland Indians, quirky Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez shocked many with his casual, almost dismissive remarks, particularly given the team’s dire position: “We're not going to give up,'' Ramirez said. ''It doesn't happen, so who cares? There's always next year. It's not like it's the end of the world.''
If it hadn’t been abundantly apparent before his remarks, it has since become painfully obvious that Ramirez takes a decidedly different approach to the game – and anyone who’s followed his remarkably productive career would have a hard time arguing with the results. People who know him best – a small, intimate circle that surprisingly doesn’t include any of his teammates – glowingly speak of his unflinching, unwavering, bullet-proof, all-weather “indifference” (or, as his former sandlot coach Mel Zitter put it, “measured, systematic indifference”) no matter the pressure, the game situation or even the life circumstance. Indeed, it’s an approach that Manny takes with him when he wanders home from the park and wherever the fates lead him that day, at that very moment.
“People who say Manny doesn’t care just don’t understand," said Julio Torres, a childhood friend and confidante. "Of course he doesn’t care. The things that you or I care about, they just don’t register with Manny. He doesn’t care who’s pitching, whether he’s in a slump or on a tear, if it’s mid-July or the heat of a pennant race. He just doesn’t care. About anything – what he eats, what he drinks, where he relieves himself – slip him a cup under the table and he doesn’t care if it’s the best sushi place in Boston, he’s going to take care of business, not, mind you that you knows the first thing about business: for years his accountant has tried persuading him to empty his shoeboxes and put the money in an interest-bearing account. But it falls on deaf ears. That’s Manny.”
Sometimes, even his closest associates find his complete and total indifference frustrating.
“You ask him what he wants to do, where he wants to go, he just shrugs. We once dragged him to a high end strip club; he’s the only guy that can doze off during a lap dance. Sometimes I feel bad for Juliana (his wife). She can’t get him to leave the hotel room (during the season he lives with his family at the Ritz-Carlton/Boston). In fact, lots of times Manny comes home from the park still in uniform. It’s dirty and smelly and he just plunks himself down on the couch, flips on the TV with a beer and a bag of tortilla chips and watches in dazed silence for hours. But hey, the dude puts up numbers, year in, year out. Not giving a fuck will one day get Manny into the Hall. Although I’m not sure he really gives a fuck.”
Sox fans are used to “Manny being Manny.” So long as he sees the ball and hits the ball – hard and often – they’ve been willing to indulge his near-comical fielding woes, his perplexing lapses on the base paths, his general air of distracted weirdness and, not least, his oft-expressed trade demands. But many are finding it hard to forgive Manny and his recent remarks, though some are trying. Some even consider it a welcome revelation that he takes any mental approach to the plate, albeit one of utter indifference.
“Who would have thunk that there was anything between Manny’s ears but maybe some loose foam peanuts and a shredded parking ticket or two,” said Bostonian Billy Bates. “Indifference may not be what you want as a fan, but it’s a whole lot better than, say, indecision. Indifference can buy you the extra split second you need to identify a late-breaking splitter; indecision will keep the bat on your shoulder as the ump rings you up.”
Cambridge resident Ken O’Hara views Ramirez’ indifference through a completely different lens.
“Growing up a die-hard Sox fan you wanted your team to show some passion, you wanted to see that it means as much to them as it does to you. But as the years go by and you suffer through one disappointment after another, you realize the need for a more balanced approach. Like many of the players, I don’t let myself get too high after a win or too low after a loss. For me it’s a winning formula – my wife likes me better and my kids don’t hate me as much. Obviously Manny takes it a couple of steps further – if I could get away with being a fan and just not giving a fuck, heck, who wouldn’t want that? But unfortunately we can’t all be Manny Ramirez.”
The Authors of The Sportsman’s Daily