bob lobel publishied this gripping article in the globe today.
The thing is, Manny isn't the first loon in the sox clubhouse- he just happens to be the most talented loon. He's also not the first to say things to reporters about their contracts- papelbon has done it as recently as this past spring. A contract isn't based on a player's personality- if that were the case we would still have dave roberts, orlando cabrera and we would still be saddled with kevin millar and shea hillenbrand.
Contracts are based on performance- Manny's has been pretty consistent, and consistently good. Additionally, anyone who thinks a player in a contract season is going to throw an at bat (bob lobel) is on qualudes.
I don't appreciate the shoving incident any more then anyone else, but if I'm an asshole to a kid in the warehouse, I've got to appologize to the kid, not to the whole town. True, John henry has his hands full when dealing with manny and his personality foibles, but henry has benefited from manny as much as manny has from the free pass he gets. John henry's team is better with manny. the sox will not be as good without manny in the batting order. Henry will have to decide if the personality is too big a con for the long list of pros manny has to offer.
Sure manny gets a free pass often enough, but he sure enough does get a much greater ration of shit when people are hacked with him (and historically it seems lobel has always been keen to dish out rations). As fans we are never willing to look at things based on wins and losses. We want our players to do goofy spots on nesn, we want them to be good with our kids, hustle down the first base line. We want them to give interviews with cheer; and when they do, we want them to use good language. We want them to be likable.
That is naive and the recent article illustrates that the media is a major reason why it's perpetual. I want Manny back next season, and i'm willing to pay him an appropriate amount of money to hit bombs.