OK, I admit it. I'm aware that my last post concerned Manny Ramirez and his desire to stay with the Boston Red Sox until his grey hairs multiply and his baseball skills erode (not soon...I KNOW THAT!), and I couldn't be any happier. He spoke at length with reporters from everywhere yesterday, and I wanted to share some of his words with you, my Constant Readers. My readership has been growing as the approach of real baseball circa 2008 draws nearer and nearer. That makes me overjoyed...the pressure cooker that is modern day baseball will overtake us all, one by one, slowly but surely, step by step, inch by inch (the Three Stooges) as our Sox try to repeat their world championship run of 2007. They are the favorites in all of baseball to do just that, and you can be sure that if you stay right here, every game will be condensed and analyzed in my own unique and somewhat quirky way. Admit it! It's just the way you like it. Ok, OK...back to Manny. He had this to say yesterday, borrowed from the Hartford Courant, my hometown non web-based source of news and sports. Here you go, and these words will make you smile, no matter how early in the morning it is right now. And for me, IT'S WAY EARLY, with super slippery roads and troubled travel conditions. And it's all because of this upcoming double-barrelled Nor'Easter storm. More on that later, because you know I double as a gifted meteorologist, at least a very talkative one. Such is my gift to you (haha). Here's Manny!!...
"I want to finish my career here (in Boston), but it's up to them," he said. "If that doesn't happen, I'm going to play somewhere else. I know I can still play. What else can I say? It's up to them. I'm not the one who writes the checks."
Speaking briefly to reporters outside the batting cages at the spring training complex, Ramirez said he didn't plan to engage the Red Sox about a contract extension
"I want to wait and talk to them on what they want to do after the season," he said. "I don't want to play the game and say, 'Oh, this and that.' I want to play the game, finish the year and whatever happens, happens.
"They're the ones who've got my options. It's up to them to say, 'Ok, we're going to take it.' It's not up to me to go into the office and demand a four-year, eight-year deal, whatever. No. I'm going to come here to play the game, finish my year and if they want me to come back, I come back. I feel great, man. I'm looking forward for '08 and '09. I did my work like I always do every year and I'm excited to be here."
It's Peter back again, and after reading Manny's words for the third time, my smile could not be any wider, with goose bumps and chills all over my body. With a physically and mentally healthy Manny, preceded in our power packed batting lineup by Big Papi, with HIS newly repaired knee, rookie of the year Dustin Pedroia and our new centerfielder, Jacoby Ellsbury, who this year will become a fixture for us while patrolling Fenway Park's spaciously green centerfield AND a national hero for EVERY baseball fan on the face of our beautiful blue earth, the Boston Red Sox and their fans, members of Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International, are in for quite a treat. A 2008 treat. THE BEST KIND OF TREAT!
Theo Epstein also had something to say about Manny. If he didn't, I would have been surprised, for the "new" Manny attitude has taken us all by storm, in a warm and loving, almost contagious way. Here is his quote, again from the Hartford Courant...
"Obviously, Manny's contract provides for the first of his options to be decided upon at the end of the year," Epstein said. "There's a time for that, but it's certainly after the season. When something like that is built into a contract, it makes sense to be patient and wait for the appropriate time to deal with it. That's well in the future. Right now, we're just focused on him having a great year."
Peter, one more time. Theo, keep that pen filled to the brim with ink, black ink, indelible and delicious ink. Delicious? Well, maybe not, but you know what I meant. And Theo, I know you'll wait until the very end of the 2008 season to "talk turkey" with Sir Manny. I am filled with optimism for the upcoming baseball season, and I hope every one of you is, too. It's snowing here on this Friday early morning, and it's snowing hard. The temperature is parked at 19.1 degrees F. The roads are super slick, and travel is not advised on this pre-dawn Friday morning. I MUST thank you, yet again, for stopping by my little piece of Sox heaven. That's what I call it because that's what it is! And please, if you can, simply click on the title of this post for the talented AND beautiful Boston Globe sportswriter Amalie Benjamin's Friday morning article about the man(ny) himself. Have a wonderful Friday, and if you're driving in north central Connecticut, or ANYWHERE in southern New England, be careful out there. I really mean that. As the saying goes, "watch out for the other guy." Why? Because he or she might not be accustomed to driving on slick streets, frozen by all the bitterly cold temperatures and white-coated by the relentless snowfall. That white stuff is just like icing on the cake, but in this case, the icing is NOT sweet. Unless you're sitting in your living room with a roaring fire (as I am!!), your toes warmed by those wonderfully warm flickering flames and your ears vibrating with the sound of crackling and slowly burning wood, sweet smells abounding.
BE WELL, and have a great Friday. I'm already missing you (and that's a little quote from the first Indiana Jones film). A new IJ movie will shortly be released to theaters everywhere. I hope your weekend will be a great one, and I'll be back bright and early tomorrow morning, if not before. Happy weekend!
***P.S. to Wayne*** Thank you for mentioning me on Kaylee's blog...I've been shut out, I guess. I looked for your blog's link on my link list and could not find it. If you read this, please leave me that link in the comment section or via email (my profile). And thank you so very much. She is a special person. As are you.