Thursday, July 31, 2008
Manny Ramirez the Dodger?
He stands in the on-deck circle and swings the bat ferociously. He adjusts his cap over his bountiful headful of dreads. He chews and spits, seemingly simultaneously, then swaggers to the plate. I watch with a mixture of awe and revulsion. It is Manny the powerful, Manny the feared, Manny the Dodger.
Manny the Dodger?
Today, in a three-way trade, the Dodgers got power hitter Manny Ramirez and gave up, quite honestly, not a lot. But how am I going to root for him?
When I am with my family of origin in New York, I am a Yankee fan. With my family of choice in Southern California, I have adopted their Dodgers as my own. The Dodgers need a power hitter, for sure. I should be thrilled about this trade. But Manny Ramirez? On my team?
Time was, when a baseball player was with a team, he was with them for a long time if not for his entire career. Nowadays, by the time you buy a guy's jersey, he's playing for someone else. It took me years after Jeff Kent came to the Dodgers from the Giants for me to stop sneering at him--in Kent's case, sneering back at him.
Well, this is a fast moving world, and I'd better move on with it. The Dodgers have been stuck one game behind Arizona for about an eon now. Andruw Jones seems to have left all his batting smarts in Atlanta and Nomar Garciaparra appears to be made out of soap bubbles and porcelain. Maybe when Manny starts smacking the ball halfway to Pasadena, I'll like him better. But don't count on it.