Another outraged column about Manny’s rehab assignment, this one from Bill Plaschke. I’m struck by this:
Manny Ramirez playing for the triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes is as weird as the word “isotope.” . . . When Manny Ramirez is old and gray and sitting outside the locked doors of Cooperstown, he might reflect on this summer as the best 50 games of his career. Or is it 42 games? Or, really, was he ever gone? It’s all Isotopes to me.
Is there a field besides sports writing where it’s acceptable to flaunt your ignorance like this? Just checking.
Beyond that, not much new apart from the fact that Plaschke has gone beyond those who are outraged that Manny isn’t being punished enough to actually suggesting that Manny is benefiting from his suspension:
During the suspension, Ramirez had reaped all the rewards of being a Dodger without any of the responsibilities.
He has been allowed clubhouse and training room and field access without ever explaining how and why and when he violated baseball’s drug policy. The Dodgers have taken care of his every need — from cough syrup to batting-practice baseballs — without once asking him to be accountable to the community that they once considered a priority.
The Dodgers so value Ramirez’s comfort above all else that they actually sent employees to Albuquerque to help him and protect him from the unwashed masses who would dare bother the great man during his courageous comeback from a female fertility drug.
I guess that’s cheaper than hiring a midwife.
The dude was fined $7 million for violating a work rule. How that’s “reaping the rewards” is beyond me, but Plaschke sure as hell doesn’t mention that fact. Would Plaschke be given a proportional penalty if he was found to have committed plagiarism? I kinda doubt it.
What all of these columns seem to boil down to is anger at the fact that there has been no sturm und drang associated with Manny’s suspension. That there have been no tears. That there has been no grovelling or self-flagellation. Which is hilarious when you think about it, because for years columnists criticized baseball for first ignoring and then taking an ad-hoc approach to this stuff, comparing it unfavorably to the NFL’s orderly and businesslike PED program. The minute baseball actually discovers and penalizes a major star in a drama-free and orderly fashion, however, everyone gets bent out of shape.