Thursday, May 7, 2009

On Manny

Here's the thing: I actually kind of believe Manny Ramirez. Given the circumstances, I probably shouldn't say this, because its baseball, and there are no surprises anymore. But Manny is, well, Manny. He is the exception to every rule. We've known for quite some time that this dude is utterly inscrutable; ten years ago, I wrote an extensive profile* of him which revealed what we all pretty much knew, even then--Manny is amazingly weird, but he is also completely guileless. All of which makes me think that if Manny had been doing steroids all these years, he wouldn't have been able to keep it a secret from the writers, from his coaches, from the front office.

Manny is the bizarro Alex Rodriguez--he is utterly oblivious as to his image. He does absurd things, but he almost always does them because he doesn't think, because he is not capable of scheming and planning even the contours of his own life. Which is why it makes perfect sense that he would take a medication without checking whether it might be affect a drug test. But I just can't imagine he would even possess the ability to fool everyone around him for years at a time. If it is true, this would potentially be the greatest con since the days of Doyle Lonnegan.

Then again, this is baseball in the 00's. Anything is possible.

*The version I've linked to was rewritten and reprinted by the editors of the Sporting News--therefore, I cannot be held responsible for some of the literary flourishes.

Update: Well, this doesn't look good. Or, to keep with The Sting metaphor:

Your boss is quite a card player, Mr. Kelly; how does he do it?

He cheats.

(Photo: Jeff Chiu/Associated Press)

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