I’ve been a Dodgers fan for as long as I can remember, and nothing was like the game I attended during the 2008 season shortly after the team acquired Manny Ramirez.
It’s been well-documented now that “Manny Being Manny” means that as a fan, you have to put up with his antics if you are to enjoy the successes that come with his awesome plate appearances, and in 2008 when Manny came to town and was playing for the Dodgers for free, we were all kind of blind to the possibility that he was a bad guy.
Two years later and he is gone.
Two years and $45 million later, he is gone.
Suspended for a good chunk of last season for taking a female hormone used to mask steroid use, Manny Being Manny had finally taken its toll. He returned from his suspension and hit a monster grand slam, but this season he had one injury after another, and as the Dodgers’ inconsistent play left them far out of a post season bid, and it was obvious that he wanted out, Ned Colletti placed him on waivers and he is now a member of the Chicago White Sox.
I don’t care much for fans of teams with the word “Sox” in them. I don’t care for the rooters of the Boston Red Sox because of their pompous and arrogant nature. I don’t like fans of the Chicago White Sox mostly because of a guy I knew in school who loved the White Sox and beat me up once.
Manny won a World Series with Boston, and then all of Red Sox Nation told us Dodger fans that Manny would wear out his welcome. White Sox fans are predicting that Manny will have a productive September and lead them to the Fall Classic.
I don’t much care for Sox.
I already miss Manny. As I mentioned, in 2008 I was at Dodger Stadium a few weeks after the team got him in a three team deal, and there was an electricity in the crowd like nothing I’d ever experienced. He homered and doubled that night, driving in four runs. We all left that night happy with the victory, happy to have Manny and there was this warm and fuzzy feeling that Manny Being Manny was well worth the risk.
Now he’s gone and there is just a great big emptiness. The Dodgers now have a guy playing left field who is a fine player, but I won’t even name him because he won’t be here next year.
More than anything I wish Manny had stopped being Manny for a moment and thought of the fans, perhaps even thought about that night when the air was filled with electricity and magic. I imagined that he would wake up one morning and realize that the Dodgers are rich with history, that Los Angeles is a great, diverse place to live and that the fans absolutely adore him.
And with that realization, he would stay here.
But it wasn’t meant to be.
Turns out that Manny Being Manny broke a lot of hearts.