Pitchers & Catchers Report to Ft. Myers

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Manny's Not a Gold Glover, but....

MANNY BEING MANNY AT YANKEE STADIUM, 9/17/04

I was watching a sports news show tonight on one of the local stations, and they were showing the highlights of the spring training games being played today. They showed some video from the Red Sox 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Ft. Myers. They showed Manny Ramirez making a great catch against the railing on a foul ball hit by Jeromy Burnitz. But as they were showing it, the sportscaster was practically doubled over laughing that Manny actually made a nice catch. (Most of these local New York sports anchors are practically worthless at their jobs.) What they didn't show was an even better running catch that Manny also made against the left field wall to rob a Pirates hitter of at least a double earlier in the game.

Once again another sports "expert" who thinks Manny Ramirez is some kind of butcher in left field. We all know about those SportsCenter moments when Manny goofs out there, like that error he made in Game 2 of the 2004 World Series. Those "Manny Being Manny" moments are always played up to the hilt when they happen. But I watch the Red Sox on a regular basis and I can tell you that Manny may not be a Gold Glove winner out there (and never will be one), but has made some sparkling plays out there in his five years as the Red Sox left fielder.

One of the best catches I've ever seen was the one he made against Miguel Cairo at Yankee Stadium (the photo above) on September 17, 2004, in the game the Sox came from behind in the ninth inning and won, 3-2. (Remember that was the game when Mariano Rivera shouted "Catch the ball!" at Kenny Lofton as the Red Sox took the lead.) I'll never forget the look on Cairo's face when after rounding the bases and reaching the dugout he looked back and realized that Manny had indeed robbed him of a home run. Priceless.

Peter Gammons has always said that Manny does work very hard at his defense, and that it has improved tremendously since he arrived in Boston in 2001. No one will ever confuse him with Carl Yastrzemski out there. He'll never get the respect for his defense that he gets for being one of the most dangerous hitters of his generation.

But I've never heard one Red Sox fan say that Manny shouldn't be playing left field at Fenway any more.

4 comments:

Taya said...

I just wanted to say I love baseball and I definatly watched the Sox Pre-Season today. Rock on. Haha... just kidding. Ahem.

WelshSoxFan said...

and let's not forget that for a good portion of last season, Manny was leading AL outfielders (perhaps NL too??) in throwing people out on the basepaths

The Omnipotent Q said...

Thanks for pointing that out, G. Manny had some whizbanger year in the field last year, but these yahoos on NY TV will never give him the credit for it......

Jennie said...

Does anyone know where I can find the interviews for the Sept. 17, 2004 game? Wanted to get a video clip for a friend's b-day. Regarding this catch by Mannie