I am not a Manny hater. I am as happy as the next person that he hit that absolute bomb to the opposite field in the 8th inning to win the game. But I've got to admit that if I were a member of the Mariners or one of their fans, I'd want to drop-kick him into next week for the way he celebrated the hit.
I've noticed this year that Manny's spectatorship has grown more and more excessive; I've also started to notice umpires walking out into the batters' box with him to hurry him along.
It turned out to be the game-winner, it was his second homer of the night, and it was an impressive shot indeed, but the way Manny walked off the plate made his homer in the ALDS in Oakland in 2003 look like a decorous, head-down trot around the bags. As Sarah once put it, it's like he should take out a cell phone and snap a picture of the pitcher on his way out of the box. Both arms in the air...the slow stroll to first...it would've been one thing if it had truly been a walkoff homer, but there was still plenty of baseball left to play.
Where I differ from Manny-haters is that I truly don't doubt Manny's intentions in acting like this sometimes. Everybody knows he's been in a slump so far this year, even going so far as to tell people "I can't hit anymore." He's getting up in years. To send a shot like that to the place he hit it must be gratifying beyond what I can imagine, and I'm sure he was simply happy that he hit it that far. But I can also understand why some people involved would be tempted to give him a knuckle sandwich after that display.
Meanwhile, two people have never been made so happy by an inning-ending double-play out against the Sox as Sam and I were last night when David Ortiz hugged Yuniesky Betancourt in the bottom of the sixth. In one NESN replay, I could faintly hear David giving Betancourt the greeting I hear him and Manny use all the time, which is tough to spell, but goes something like, "Wha-heyyyyy..." As of last night, Sam and I have dubbed it the Call of the Big Papi. And I maintain that Big Papi is the most compelling evidence I've yet found that there is a God, that He loves us, and wants us to be happy.
Still, while the big bats were out in force last night, the pitching was rough by recent Sox standards. Daisuke was...well, let's face it, if we'd lost that game, we'd call it "awful." I still believe it's an adjustment issue, and it's good he's wasn't also suffering from Tim Wakefield Disease, but If only he can get over that Derek Lowe Syndrome...he just needs to be the god damn kitten, pretty much.
Speaking of which, Jonathan sitting on the bench with a one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth while Brendan Donnelly was sent out to close? Let's just say that doesn't make me feel much better.
I've said before that some losses feel like wins and some wins feel like losses. Because of the pitching worries, this one's unfortunately one of the latter.