Not So Deep Thoughts: Manny needs to start being somebody else

For years now, some have excused Manny Ramirez’s “quirkiness” as Manny simple being Manny. And for the most part, I’ve been OK with it. Until now.

In the latest episode, Ramirez didn’t non-chalantly misplay a routine fly ball and he didn’t lazily jog out a grounder. He didn’t toss any teammates under any buses and he didn’t rip his manager in the media. In this particular episode of “Manny Being Manny,” all he did was hit the showers. Unfortunately for the Dodgers and their bleeding Dodger-blue fans, Manny’s bathing came about 15 minutes too soon.

With the Dodgers holding a precarious 4-3 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth inning in Monday’s NLCS Game 4 in Philadelphia, Los Angeles manager Joe Torre took Manny out of the game. The Dodgers skipper replaced Manny with Juan Pierre for defensive purposes as closer Jonathan Broxton came out looking to record the final three outs and even their best-of-seven series at two games each.

Taking a defensive liability out in the late innings of a tight game is nothing new and its a practice that Torre had employed many times throughout the season. Unfortunately for the Dodgers, Broxton wasn’t able to close out Philadelphia, as the Phillies put together an exciting two-run rally to steal the win and take a commanding 3-1 lead.

Broxton had been virtually untouchable all season so there were many players in the Dodgers’ dugout looking on in disbelief as Carlos Ruiz scammpered home with the winning run. But not Manny. The cameras searched to get a reaction shot of the Dodgers superstar but they came up empty. The dejected look on Manny’s face couldn’t be captured because after being taken out of the game, Manny does as Manny does, and he went into the clubhouse and took a shower.

“I come out of the game early, I take a shower,” Manny said Tuesday, his
feet propped up in front of his locker at Citizens Bank Park before an
off-day workout.

So you never saw Broxton give up the ninth-inning, two-out, two-run double to Jimmy Rollins?

“No, I was in the shower,” he repeated.

What? So you missed the final three outs of Game 4 in the NLCS? The final three outs of a game that couldv’e either put you your team two wins from its first World Series appearance in 21 years or one loss away from all the shower time you could ever need. Just so we’re clear, you missed that?

Last time I checked, baseball was a team game, with guys nervously chewing sunflower seeds on the top step of the dugout right up until the final out is recorded. Once it is, they smile from ear to ear, they high five like there’s no tomorrow, they scurry onto the field to celebrate with their teammates on the field, they dogpile on top of the pitcher, you know the drill.

Torre, in typical Torre fashion, downplayed the incident as yet another Manny being … you know the drill.

“I think the way it turned out, it probably doesn’t look good,” Torre said. “But it’s nothing different than he has done before.”

We all understand that superstars get preferential treatment but when you’re making $25 million a year, you should show up early and stay late. You should cheer on your teammates and be there with a hug if they need one after a heartbreaking loss.

What you shouldn’t do is abandon your squad 15 minutes prior so you can make sure you don’t get stuck with the low-flow shower stall. Manny being Manny was fun for awhile, but it’s time for Manny to start being somebody else, anybody else.

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