Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

600 more words about Manny

Here are a couple of quotes from two people who were both at the game last night and who both work for the same newspaper:

Nick Cafardo:

When he sauntered to the on-deck circle in the first inning, Ramirez was booed pretty loudly. When the second inning rolled around and he made his way to the plate as the leadoff hitter, there was a mixed ovation.

Amalie Benjamin:

He made his way to home plate, the ballpark roiled with sound, a nearly equal amount of cheers and boos greeting him in his return to his former home.

I wasn’t at the game. Hell, I didn’t start watching the game until it was halfway over (thank you dvr!). What I heard and saw via NESN was an almost exact amount of cheering and booing with a few people not doing either. NESN doesn’t always pick up all the noise at Fenway so I was hoping for the writers to give us a good account of what happened. I know that, when you’re sitting at Fenway, the noise is different for everyone. There have been nights there where I’ve heard booing and people I know who were in different parts of the park didn’t hear anything or where I was embarrassed by booing and when discussing it with friends was told they couldn’t hear it on NESN. So it IS difficult to gauge the noise in Fenway sometimes. But two people presumably sitting side by side giving slightly different accounts of what happened last night leads me to believe some folks will just write what they want, reality be damned.

We went into this knowing that the fans had mixed feelings about Manny coming back and I think the crowd reflected that well.  (I welcome folks who were actually there and don’t need to change the truth to fit their narrative to let me know if I’m wrong.  I trust the fans much more than the writers when it comes to this subject.)  I realized last night that the fans needed to do what they needed to do.  I’m not embarrassed by those fans who booed because Manny got his cheers by the boatful while he was in Boston.   While I’ve already written how I feel it’s a mistake to judge Manny’s time with the Red Sox solely based on what happened in 2008, I also think it’s acceptable to remember that Manny wasn’t exactly forced out of this town.  A good friend who is much less judgmental of things like this than I said to me the other day “I don’t hate Manny and I’d probably never boo him but cheering him feels like rewarding him for bad behavior”.  That’s not so crazy to me because, regardless of the 2004 and 2007 Championships, much of his behavior in 2008 was “bad”.  Fine for the players to forgive and forget (after all, they got Jason Bay in their clubhouse in the exchange and things worked out pretty well with him around) but I can’t fault the fans who felt like this was their one true chance to make their own voices heard without them being filtered by the media.

Today’s and tomorrow’s games are both nationally televised.  The Fox team has a history of giving Manny a hard time and the ESPN team has always been more understanding of “Manny being Manny”.  It will be interesting to hear how each broadcasting team reacts to Manny and to the reactions of the fans.

And now, unless he punches someone on the field or does something truly noteworthy this weekend, I’m pretty sure I’m done writing about Manny for a while.


June 19, 2010 - Posted by | 2010 | ,

1 Comment »

  1. I was 40 rows back in the bleachers – which was cool in and of itself, because I bought the ticket the day before by walking up to the ticket office and asking if they had anything for Friday. Since I only needed 1 seat, I had my choice of seating categories, and at the ticket window there’s no S&H or convenience fees. (I picked Friday rather than Saturday because I was intrigued by seeing Doubront’s debut.)

    Reaction was mixed, as we could have guessed. It sounded like more boos than cheers when he walked out to the on-deck circle the first time, probably 50-50 for his first at-bat, and then more cheers than boos each time he came up as the game went on. I posted my feelings earlier – no way would I boo, but I don’t think I’m ready yet to cheer – so my excuse was I was going to film it and just observe. The video ended up all blurry, though.

    A couple of factors – first off, booing is louder than clapping, so if it was 50-50, there were probably more people cheering. There were also a lot of Dodgers fans, all of whom were cheering for him. But once we scored the 3 runs in the 1st, they were quiet the rest of the night. And I think the people who come out just to boo someone are also the ones who leave early, and coupled with the big lead, by the end of the game it was all cheers, and even a “Manny, Manny” chant, from the people in my section.

    But more importantly, Doubront looked good, Beltre hit another knee-homer, and replay helped them get Drew’s homer right, so it was a fun night.

    Comment by Kristen | June 19, 2010 | Reply

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