As erstwhile Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez furiously pedals his 10-speed down Landsdowne Street looking for the subway to Los Angeles, we gather in this great hall to offer our heartiest congratulations — nay, congratufugginlations — to those who made this all possible.
The Boston Red Sox
Manny’s not necessarily the most astute or well-spoken person, but you have to admit he had a point when he told ESPN Deportes that the Red Sox had made a mission out of painting him as a bad guy. Regardless of how sick the Sox were of his supposed “antics,” they play things differently when they want to justify a trade. First, someone leaked the Jack McCormick story to Sean McAdam — a convenient, if wholly uncharacteristic, departure from the team’s usual silence on personal issues. The Sox brass then turned up the heat, openly deriding Manny for his trade wishes. Manny responded predictably — by tanking it for a few games — and the furor grew. Congratufugginlations, Red Sox, you outsmarted Manny Ramirez. Maybe next time you’ll find a more challenging adversary, like a goldfish or a hamster or something.
Congratufugginlations #2: Manny Ramirez
Here’s the thing, Manny. At the beginning of the season, you knew the Red Sox were unlikely to sign you to an extension. They were either going to pick up your 2009 option (if you played out of your mind) or they were going to cut you loose (if you played badly). Both options blocked you from signing one last big deal. So you did the honorable thing and came out swinging — at baseballs. You played well, but not spectacularly. And you sent the message to the Sox that you either wanted a new deal or you wanted out of town. Then they publicly painted you as some kind of cross between Mata Hari and the Kraken. At this point, your only option was to eat a whole bucket of humble pie, play hard, and boost your trade value. You did the opposite. Now you play for one of the truly poorly-run organizations in all of baseball. But hey, at least no one watches Dodger games. Congratufugginlations.
Congratufugginlations #3: L.A. Dodgers
The Dodgers are one of baseball’s most storied franchises. Snider, Robinson, Larsen, Koufax, Lopes, Garvey, Valenzuela, Gibson, Hersheiser, Lasorda — all powerful and important names to baseball lovers. Then they ran Paul DePodesta out of town and hired Ned Colletti, who in the course of just a few seasons managed to basically ruin a proud MLB franchise while handing out sacks full of gold bullion to Juan Pierre, Andruw Jones, and Rafael Furcal. Even worse, Colletti is desperate to trade genuine, cheap, young talents Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp for overpaid sluggers. Why? Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown. Congratufugginlations, L.A. Dodgers, you only need Manny to hit 522 homeruns this year to be relevant.
Congratufugginlations #4: Red Sox Nation
A few years ago, when Boston won its first World Series in 86 years, a popular and stupid question to ask was how the legions of Red Sox fans would respond now that they had nothing to complain about. Four years later, the answer is clear. They would still complain about anything and everything that stumbled in front of their collective three-decker porch. And when Sox management spoon-fed the local media tales of Manny’s supposed clubhouse depredation, Red Sox Nation in the aggregate put down its steak bomb and its Marlboro Lights and turned on the anger jets — aiding and abetting the Sox effort to purge the second greatest hitter in Red Sox history from the payroll without taking a PR hit. Congratufugginlations, Red Sox Nation, and enjoy the 2010 season when suddenly David Ortiz is an orphan-kicking nihilist with ties to crack dealers. You heard it here first.