Manny Ramirez’s Shower Could Mark Turnaround for Dodgers in NLCS

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October 21, 2009


Manny Ramirez's Shower Could Mark Turnaround for Dodgers in NLCS The news that Manny Ramirez missed his team's heartbreaking Game 4 loss in the NLCS because he opted for an early shower was pretty amusing yet hardly surprising.

Baseball fans in Boston know that Ramirez tends to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. He unquestionably wore out his welcome in Boston, and it appears that Los Angeles' collective patience is wearing thin.

"You caught the highlights?" The Los Angeles Times' Bill Plaschke rhetorically asked. "The truck driver who has to work at 5 a.m. the next day, he catches the highlights. The mom who has to put her kids to bed during the ninth inning, she catches the highlights.

"Manny Ramirez is supposed to be the highlights."

Plaschke went on to use the showering story as a springboard for more Manny bashing, questioning No. 99's productivity at the plate and hustle in the outfield. Plaschke even reverted to the old journalism trick of confidently declaring that Ramirez's bat speed has slowed.

(As Mike Lowell asked in his autobiography, where are all the scouts with bat speedometers? How do their bat-speed measuring devices work, exactly?)

But it could be that Plaschke and all other enraged Southern Californians simply don't know the mysterious Manny like most folks in Boston do. In 2007, with his team facing the exact same 3-1 deficit in a championship series, Manny generated a similar controversy when he said the following:

"Why should we panic? We've got a great team. [If] it doesn't happen, so who cares? There's always next year. It's not like it's the end of the world."

Die-hard Red Sox fans were shocked, angered, enraged, furious, aggravated, incensed … you get the picture. Baseball in Boston is the world. How could Manny not know this?

That's simple — he doesn't live in our world.

Manny may not know everything, but he knew his team was good enough to win. After his "who cares?" comment, the Red Sox didn't lose again, beating the Indians in seven games and sweeping the Rockies. In those seven games, Manny batted a modest .280 with five RBIs, but his team outscored opponents 59-15.

The guy has been everywhere before. He's played in 110 playoff games, won 14 postseason series, won two World Series, all while batting .285 with a record 29 homers and 78 RBIs. The ninth inning of a tight NLCS game may be enough to make you sweat on the couch, but for Manny, it's no big deal.

"He's a cool customer," Joe Torre said, stressing that Manny's shower was "nothing different than he has done before."

That's nothing but a good thing for the Dodgers. Manny's track record is as good as it gets. Marching to the beat of his own drum — or whatever is playing in his MP3 sunglasses — is nothing new for Manny, and he's proven over time that it works.

So with the Dodgers staring at elimination and with half of Los Angeles in a tizzy, take some advice from Manny and relax. Maybe even take a shower to cool down. Manny's got it all under control.

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