Manny Ramirez returns to Boston, the place he one two World Series Championships and a World Series M.V.P.
With the Celtics loss still fresh in their mind Bostonians have a new reason to loath Los Angeles, the Dodgers and Mannywood are in town. Nearly two years after Manny Ramirez’s bitter divorce with the Boston Red Sox he is back with his new team and new-found Los Angeles popularity. Boston is the city where Manny had the most success and was loved for quite some time. He brought Boston a World Series title in 2004 ending an 86 year drought while making dreadlocks the most popular hairstyle. Of coarse he had his moments of “Manny being Manny” but he always produced when the lights were the brightest and everything was one the line. That would make a fan base love him forever… right? Not really, the “Manny being Manny” was apparently too much for the Red Sox fan. They grew increasingly frustrated with his lackluster efforts, confrontational approach with teammates and demands for a new contract. So he was shipped as far away from Boston as possible for Jason Bay to Los Angeles, a city looking for a Dodger to hold on to.
Here we are now in 2010 with Mannywood firmly established and a new fan base growing tired of “Manny being Manny”, but that is a story for another day. We all wondered how Manny will be welcomed in the city he carried on his shoulders for 2 championships. Will Manny be given a heroes welcome of Nomar Garciaparra? Or will Manny be booed so bad Dodger stadium itself would vibrate? No one really knew the answer before tonight and everyone cranked up they’re television set ready to soak it in.
The first inning passed by with the Red Sox posting 3 on the board while the Dodgers zip. “Now batting for the Los Angeles Dodgers number 99 Manny Ramirez”, what happened next was a Red Sox fan base un-wantingly thanking Manny for everything he has done. You could hear boos and cheers at the same time both growing louder trying to out do each other. But the truth was in what you could see, the majority of Red Sox fans standing and clapping while giving thanks the man who gave them the one thing they wanted in life, a championship. Through the fog of Boston hate for Los Angeles there was a gesture of compassion not usually shown. And as Manny lined out on the first pitch the moment was over to forever be stored in our baseball memory banks as the night Boston made up with Manny.
The game went on as scheduled with no dramatic moments till the ninth inning with the Red Sox leading 10-5. I was sitting in my living room relegated to audio only on my tv set as Foxsports PrimeTicket was once again having technical difficulties. But that was alright with me because Vin Scully made the trip to Boston, the site where Scully announced his first game in 1949 for Boston College. Garrett Anderson led off with a solo-shot to right field to make it 10-6. Than Kemp singled, Martin followed with a single of his own. Oh no! Could Manny come up with the bases loaded to tie the game? How dramatic would that be? Andre Eithier promptly rocked a ball to Youkilis who went to second for the second out of the inning. Could Manny put a ball in the seats making it 10-9? My visual broadcast started to work with Manny up and the count 2-2, strike three down the middle. Well hey, Los Angeles will always have the Lakers.