Bloody Sox

Red Sox Rants — and other random opinions about sports

Charlie Pierce is way off base…

The day after the trade that shipped what’s his name to the Dodgers and brought Jason Bay to the Red Sox, Charlie Pierce had a few piercing comments about Red Sox fans, Peter Gammons, Theo Epstein and Red Sox veterans. I’m a fan of Mr. Pierce. I enjoy his comments on “Only a Game” and “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.” However, I find his point of view regarding Sir Manny curious.

Actually, I disagree entirely.

His implication is that the Red Sox couldn’t have won two World Series without Manny Ramirez. That is possibly true. But just as arguable is that they couldn’t have won two World Series without David Ortiz. Or Pedro Martinez. Or Josh Beckett. Or Curt Schilling. In fact, they probably couldn’t have won two World Series without Derek Lowe or even David Roberts. You see, Charlie, that’s the nature of TEAM sports.

I’m not sure if Charlie Pierce actually understands the team concept — and I know Manny does not get it. Pierce also takes exception to the notion that some Sox veterans marched into Theo’s office and said that Manny has to go. Here’s Pierce’s snotty take on that:

It is the delegation of “veterans” who came to Epstein declaring, in essence, “We cannot work in this ambience!” (then perhaps huffing off to their trailers for a massage and some chamomile tea) that’s the most bizarre element of the whole affair.

I suppose Charlie would have a higher opinion of these Veterans if instead they were to have said, “Yes, Manny is a child. He has quit on us in the past. He physically abuses people. He is unhappy and unmotivated. But we just can’t win without him. Please, please, please don’t make us play without him.”

Yes, Pierce writes a lot about sports (always entertainingly), but has he ever actually participated in a team sport? I don’t know, but given his somewhat doughy physique, I kinda doubt it. And that would explain this crazy comment as well:

I still wouldn’t be Jason Bay for all the money Manny Ramirez ever made.

Apparently he is unable to grasp the idea that a professional athlete might prefer to play for a team with annual aspirations for winning a championship than for one that continually trades away all its best players. This may be why Mr. Pierce empathizes more with Manny Ramirez than with Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek and Kevin Youkilis. Then again, I sometimes think Charlie just likes being contrary.


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