Well, it finally happened - the Red Sox couldn't take the "Manny bein' Manny" show anymore, and I can't really blame them. It's an odd situation because Ramirez's behavior has been deplorable, essentially quitting on the team in order to force them to trade him. It seems his basic motivation was to insure that the Red Sox not pick up the club option they owned for next year so that Manny could become a free agent rather than live up to the terms of the incredibly generous contract he'd signed. There's simply nothing honorable about what he's done.
But, whatever. The fact is, I still like Manny. He's one of my favorite players, I've got a #24 Red Sox jersey, and I wish he hadn't been traded. The whole athlete (or movie star or great musician, etc.) as hero thing is so overrated; I certainly don't look to these famous types for role modeling. Most athletes (most people!) are probably pretty selfish; Manny's just more transparent and immature about his selfishness. It's not that I'm defending him, but I really enjoyed having him on the team. You never knew what might happen, but he sure made things interesting.
The fact is, there are also many great musicians (composers, too) who are probably not very admirable as people, but I'm not sure how much difference it makes in how I think about them as musicians. I still love many Kathleen Battle recordings, however ridiculous her attitude/actions. It's a wonderful, unique voice, and that's what I'm interested in when I'm listening to her. Ramirez is a wonderful, unique talent and though it's true that fans like their team's players to be, you know, team players, I would've been happy to have him keep playing, occasionally taking games off, ambling to first, losing interest, then hitting monster blasts, etc. You wouldn't want many players like that, but there just aren't many players (or people) like him anyway, so I never really worried that his presence would turn his teammates into malcontents.
ANYWAY, for some reason the following took shape in my mind on the commute home today. This will probably confound sports fans, classical music fans, MMmusing fans, and pretty much everybody else. At least I hope so. It's definitely one of the odder things I've created (right up there with this), but I wasted too much time on it not to post it. It's my little tribute to the Man Ram, and if the whole thing is a bit half-baked, well that's just Michael being Manny.
(I'm just sad I didn't have a recording of Kathleen Battle doing the singing.)