It’s July. And you know what that means.

July 25th, 2006 → 10:05 am @ // 2 Comments

When I do readings, the two questions I get more than any others are:

* Was Nomar on steroids?

and

* What’s Manny really like?

I have no idea what the answer is to the first one. And I always struggle with how to answer the second one: Manny practically embodies the meaning of the word enigma. In an article in today’s Boston Globe, Gordon Edes does a wonderful, and wonderfully funny, job of describing what it means for Manny to be Manny:

“One must always allow for the prospect, even after last night’s 7-3 Red Sox win over the Oakland Athletics, that Manny Ramírez may awaken today to an entirely new world of possibilities. Perhaps he has dreams of relocating to his wife’s native Brazil to become a gaucho, riding tall in the saddle. Maybe he’d like to return to his old neighborhood on the far side of Manhattan, strutting through the streets with a boom box on his shoulder the same way he did in the Sox clubhouse the other day, saying, ‘This is how we do it in Washington Heights.’ …

“But happily for the Red Sox and their aspirations for October, Ramírez seems no more inclined to want any of these scenarios to materialize this week as he is to ask to be traded. By most any measure, that represents spectacular progress from this time a year ago, when a change of address was foremost on Manny’s wish list.”

As yes, a year ago. Manny had one of his little spells down in Tampa, didn’t start the first two games of a homestand, and then came out about a half-hour after the tradeline had passed to hit a game-winning single against the Twins. (All together now: double-finger point!)

Come to think of it, late July has been a weird, wild time for the Red Sox these last few years. Remember 2004? Sure you do. On the morning of July 24, the Red sox were 9 1/2 games out of first. The start of that afternoon’s game against the Yankees was delayed because Fenway’s field was soggy. Terry Francona got ejected in the 2nd inning. Jason Varitek tried to feed Alex Rodriguez his catcher’s mitt.* And the Red Sox capped a three-run, ninth-inning comeback with Bill Mueller’s walkoff two-run shot of Mariano Riviera. (True story: I “watched” that game from a computer in a hotel lobby in Dubrovnik, Croatia, waiting as a slow internet connection fed me the MLB Gameday info.) The match, which Theo Epstein called “catalytic,” came on the tail-end of a 75-game stretch in which the Sox went 38-37. A week later, Nomar was gone. A month later, the Sox began their epic winning streak. And three months later, they were world champions.

So far, July 2006 has been quiet. Too quiet…

*It’s been rumored that, after A-Rod took offense at being plunked by Bronson Arroyo, Varitek told the Yankees third baseman, “We don’t throw at .260 hitters.” That, alas, is an urban legend. But as far as urban legends go, it’s a pretty good one.


Post Categories: 2004 Playoffs & A-Rod & Bill Mueller & Gordon Edes & Jason Varitek & Manny Ramirez & Mariano Riviera & Nomar Garciaparra

2 Comments → “It’s July. And you know what that means.”


  1. redsoxstiff

    11 years ago

    Great Blog.

    I was going to get all snarly on Gordon for misusing the term Gaucho…cowboy…I thought it applied to Argentian cowboys on the Pampas exclusively…The word actually seems to be of Portugese origin.
    The Brazilians use the term too.

    As for Manny being a gaucho…He is just a hitter of baseballs…as long as we delimit him in that way ,there is no puzzle.Just leave it at that otherwise it is a long fall into the briar patch…No exit.

    Reply

  2. dottiescib1@aol.com

    11 years ago

    Read your book. Loved it as a lifelong Sox fan. Watch all the games as we are now living in FL. You cleared up one question my husband and I alway had about the guy in the Blue jacket at all the games. Now I would like to know who the red/blonde haired guy that sits in the same section. It appears he has some position with the Sox. My son gave me the book and I truly enjoyed reading every single page. Thanks for doing a great book about our beloved Sox.

    Reply

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