Thursday, June 17, 2010

Everyone Has An Opinion On This

OK, so it's my turn.

Well, Manny Ramirez makes his return to Fenway Park on Friday night (and will be facing rookie Felix Doubront) and now all the speculation centers on how he'll be received by the Fenway Faithful when he comes up to bat.

I'm not going to do what many writers are doing now: listing their Top 10 Favorite Manny Moments. Listen, everyone knows all the good stuff, as well as the bad stuff.

For me, this reminds me a lot of Johnny Damon's return to Fenway in 2006. And on that day, I suggested that the crowd give him a standing ovation in his first at-bat, and then treat him like an enemy player the remainder of his career. Didn't work out that way, of course.

I feel the same way about Ramirez. He deserves a standing ovation on that first at-bat for being one of the centerpieces in the two Red Sox championships of the last decade, and for being one of the best hitters in Red Sox history. If I were at Fenway, I'd be standing and applauding that first at-bat.

But that's it. Once that's finished, that ends it for me. He's now an enemy who disgraced himself on the deplorable way he got out of Boston. I won't rehash it all here. I wouldn't be booing if I there from the second at-bat on, just not applauding him any more.

So it will be interesting to see what happens Friday night. I'll be watching and applauding his first at-bat, wherever I am tomorrow. I'll be thanking Manny for those two titles with that at-bat.

After that, we move on.

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