Do you have an older uncle or aunt who is known for being a little bit off kilter? Do you enjoy watching Inside the NBA just to hear what crazy thing Charles Barkley will say next? If you do, then you’ll love Manny Ramirez. Take a listen to this:
Yes, I know we would all like our sports heroes to care about every single nuance of every single game and treat it like it is life and death, but here’s the truth: They treat it just like any other job. If you have ever found yourself at work checking something out on google, chatting around the water cooler about last night’s TV, or talking about your plans for that night or the weekend, you know that you don’t take your job quite as seriously as you THINK athletes should take theirs. Manny doesn’t always hustle after fly balls, doesn’t always run out ground balls as much as he should, and sometimes he disappears into the Green Monster to relieve himself during a game. How is that so different from those ‘office breaks’ that most of us take?
For all of the hand-wringing most sports fans do about how their most loved teams are doing, the players are more interested in which stripper will be performing when they get to their ‘gentlemen’s’ club of choice. We all care that we do what we can to improve in our jobs or meet our quotas, but let’s face it, after a while, some people can go on ‘autopilot’ and just collect a paycheck. Why would we expect athletes to be different? Oh, yeah, they’re making huge sums of money, so that means they should care more. Guess what… they’re still human, and are prone to the same lapses as you or I. As for how much money they’re making, they’re not making any more than someone is WILLING to pay for their services. If owners weren’t making bushels of money, they wouldn’t pay players as much as they are. Gate receipts, parking, concessions, licensed apparel, and television contracts all drive the money machine. If you don’t go, the owner’s won’t have as much to pay players, and the players won’t make as much. It’s just supply and demand. The sporting public is so demanding of games, apparel, tickets, and television, that those in control of those assets squeeze consumers for as much as they can. If the demand for those things goes down, the league can’t make NEAR as much as they used to (see: NHL).
For as many people bitch and moan about Manny, you’d think he did something criminal to the community. Here’s the only crime I have seen him commit: Being human like everyone else. For a listing of his lighter moments, click here.