Manny and Rickey

Jack Curry notes that, before Manny was Manny, Rickey was Rickey:

Before Manny was Manny, Rickey was Rickey. If ever there were two players who were kindred spirits, they are Manny Ramirez and Rickey Henderson. Henderson was talented and distinctive, a walking, talking baseball entertainer. Ramirez does not talk as much, but he entertains in his own goofy way, too . . .

. . . When Mattingly was Ramirez’s coach last season, he saw some of the traits he used to see in Henderson. Ramirez has the same type of plate discipline, work ethic and confidence. In addition, Mattingly said Henderson and Ramirez are both much more intelligent players than they are perceived to be.

Henderson played left field while Ramirez plays left field. Henderson won two World Series rings. So has Ramirez. Henderson sometimes aggravated managers. Ramirez annoyed an entire organization. Henderson had his head first slide and his signature snatch-catch. Ramirez treats home runs like New Year’s Eve.

Biggest difference: I don’t recall Henderson ever quitting on his team like Manny did last season. And no, I don’t consider a game of hearts after one is out of the game to be quitting on one’s team.

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Comments

  1. BillyBeaneismyHero said...

    I don’t think that Rickey ever quit on his team, but some in the Yankee organization did think that he was “Hot Dogging” it when he was out with a hamstring injury in 1987.

  2. The Common Man said...

    But both could really amp it up when they wanted to.  Last night, MLB network showed Game 2 of the ‘89 ALCS, and Rickey was absolutely dominant.  2 for 2 with 2 BB, 2 R, and 4 SB (twice stealing second and third).  And it was especially memorable in light of Jose Canseco’s impression of a shrinking violet (didn’t start because he had a migraine, struck out in his first AB, played atrocious defense, walked in his second at bat, and got picked off). 

    And when Rickey got mad, he was incredible.  I got to see him in 2000 when he was playing for Seattle, and sitting by some fans who were really on him about the card playing.  He gave them a look on his way back to the dugout after the first inning, and promptly went 3 for 4 with a walk, RBI, SB, and 3 runs.  One game, sample size, etc.  But I just remember thinking he had decided to take over the game right there, and did it.  Just an unbelievable player.  I can’t wait for what should be the greatest induction speech of all time.

  3. MooseinOhio said...

    Both are savants when it comes to their baseball skills and like most savants are developmentally lacking in other areas of life.  Manny has never developed fully socially and emotionally and Rickey certainly appears to struggle some cognitively.  Both are amazing and gifted baseball players and when focused were (are) able to perform at levels most athletes dream of reaching.

  4. wiffleboy said...

    I also don’t think Rickey ever beat up the clubhouse laundry guy.  Rickey always loved playing; I’m not sure you can say the same about Ramirez.  Heck, Rickey was still playing independent league semi-pro ball after nobody else would sign him.

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