Unwitting Just For Men spokesman Tim McCarver had this to say recently about Manny Ramirez: “It’s extraordinary - the dichotomy between what he was in Boston and what he is in Los Angeles. I mean, talk about wearing out your welcome in a town, and it was a long welcome with the Red Sox. But some of the things he did were simply despicable, despicable - like not playing, refusing to play. Forgetting what knee to limp on. And now it’s washed, it’s gone.”
(Was Manny a dog in The Bean? Karros: Yep.)
Since the comment came out on Tuesday, the whole of L.A. media has cowered at Manny’s feet, castigating McCarver for his unfair characterization. Except perhaps the best-known former Dodger under the age of 80 (who doesn’t lie about hookers and meeting the pope), Eric Karros.
Karros, now a respected TV and radio analyst, not only agreed with McCarver’s comment, but also said Dodger shortstop Rafael Furcal was the key to the NLCS against the Fightin’ Phils (and yes, My Boy Barry has your LA-PHI tickets - at a discount).
Tom Hoffarth of the L.A. DAILY NEWS has the details from EK: “He’s (McCarver) absolutely right. There is nothing worse as far as being athlete than you can do to a fellow player and not going out and playing, or pulling yourself out of a game, and that’s essentially what he did. And the guys on that team voted him off the island. That’s a fact.”
In addition to saying he wouldn’t re-sign Ramirez to a 4-year contract, Karros also considers Furcal as the likely focal point of the Dodger offense against Philly, not the heavy-batted, Bronx native: “Rafael Furcal may have a bigger impact on the Dodgers right now than any other player. Manny is a threat in the lineup, but against the Cubs, he hit two home runs that I won’t say were meaningless, but they didn’t impact the victories.”
I agree with everything Karros said, but where were the Red Sox before Ramirez helped them win two World Series? According to Curt Schilling, Ramirez was just as hated on the club in 2002 as he was this season.
The difference? The team hadn’t won a ring yet. Once that sense of intense want receded, so did their tolerance for the dreaded one.