My Breakup Letter to Manny Ramirez
Let me preface this by saying that watching you play (and act like a total 'tard) has been the highlight of Red Sox baseball for me over the last seven years. The peeing in the monster, running out to left field with a water bottle in your pocket...and my ultimate favorite, Mannyism, which you said on one of the greatest nights of my life, and what I want etched on my headstone someday: "I don't believe in no curses. I believe you make your own destination."
Destination, indeed. You're funny, you're freakishly talented. You have a swing that I'll be tellling my children about someday. The highfive to the fan in Baltimore to complete the double play. God, Manny, this hurts me more than it hurts you.
But I'm sorry dude. It's time to part ways.
The way you refuse to run out grounders. That at-bat against Mariano Rivera a few weeks ago. The mystery hamstring and knee ailments that plague you when you just don't feel like playing. If you don't want to be with me, that's fine. But don't go not calling for weeks at a time, then show up at my door step with a bouquet of roses saying you love me and want me back.
This time that's not enough.
I defended you when you checked out in 03. And then again in 06. I remember the Yankees series in 03 when you were "too sick" but ended up going out chasing tail with what's his name from the Yanks. But calling out your bosses over not picking up your option, MIDSEASON, is not a good negotiaion tactic.
I hope South Florida treats you well. We'll miss you in Boston. I hope you find happiness there, and that the Marlins handle you with the kitten gloves you so desperately need. It hurts my heart to do this, Manny, but despite all the hostility between us, I'll always love you. And I'll always think back at 2004 and 2007 and remember those unbelievably magical moments with wistful fondness. I won't remember you for your tempertantrums and off-field shennanigans. I'll remember you for what I believe you are. A little kid at heart who loves the game more than anything. Sadly, I think that's what ended up being your downfall.
Finally, Manny, you'll miss us, whether you admit it or not. Boston fans are the most blindly passionate and loving fans in sports. You'll miss being in an arena where every one of the 35,000 people in the park lives and dies with the team. You'll miss the atmosphere, the perenially competitive American League East. You'll miss Tito, who probably took 7 years off his life covering for you. You'll miss Papi. You'll miss us, that first time you hit a home run in Dolphin Stadium and there's only 7,000 people cheering for you. We loved you, Manny. And like Pedro, who left before you, the fans will remember the good. And if you ever return to Fenway, you'll be greeted with the warm, five minute standing O you deserve for providing us with 8 years of memories.