It’s been fun to have Manny Ramirez back in the league for the last week or so, even if we’ll have to wait until at least June before we see him in actual Major League action. Manny is one of the most devastating right-handed hitters of the past 50 years, is a two-time world champion, a 12-time All Star, a perennial MVP candidate, and one of the most colorful and well-known characters in the game’s modern history.
Of course, Manny’s also one of the most controversial players over that same time-span. He tested positive twice for “performance enhancing” drugs. He allegedly hit his wife. He frustrated fans with his general aloofness and, at times, truly odd behavior. And he never really cared much for defense.
Still, baseball with Manny always seems to be more interesting to baseball without Manny. But is it really right that he should be back? How should you feel about Manny’s humble return on a minor league contract, talking about how he got right with God? And if Manny plays in the Oakland Coliseum, and nobody shows up to watch, does it really matter at all?
All your answers are just 10 short questions away:
1) The phrase “Manny Being Manny” makes you think of:
A) Giving a fan a high five after a leaping catch and hitting a walk-off homer.
B) Peeing in The Green Monster
C) Forgetting how many outs there are, and tossing a ball into the stands
D) Knocking over a 7-11
2) How much would you have paid for Manny Ramirez’s BBQ Grill?
B) $200 and I’d bring my own truck to move it
C) $100 and Manny has to bring it to me
D) I wouldn’t give that son of a bitch one red cent. What did he ever do to earn it?
3) Manny’s dreadlocks probably smell like:
C) Grease and B.O.
D) The burnt corpse of a she-goat, sacrificed upon the unholy alter to the Dark Lord, Satan
4) Manny’s defense is best described as:
D) No defense could possible excuse what he’s done. YES, HE DESERVES TO DIE AND I HOPE HE BURNS IN HELL!
5) What’s Manny’s line for 2012?
D) Hey kid, you want to see the puppies? I’ve got some in the van.
6) What will keep Manny on the straight and narrow in 2012?
C) Fear of God
D) Too late. Manny has already killed three hobos in the immediate area around Phoenix Municipal Stadium
7) What was Manny Ramirez’s most heinous act?
A) Helping the Red Sox break the curse and unleashing “The Nation” upon us all.
B) Taking “performance enhancing” drugs
C) Allegedly attacking his wife
D) All of the above, and shooting Bill Hickok in the back.
8) Which Oakland Athletic is most likely to influenced by Manny?
A) Daric Barton, who finally becomes the offensive force Oakland needs.
B) Brandon McCarthy, who is secretly writing a book of Mannyisms
C) Bob Melvin, who will go to jail for murdering Manny by the end of Spring Training
D) They are all at risk. Quarentine them until we know they’re not infected. This outbreak must be contained before it spreads to the rest of the league
9) How will Manny be remembered when he finally retires?
A) As a lovable idiot who just wanted to play baseball, and would do anything to make that happen.
B) As an idiot who squandered a ton of good will, but one of the best right-handed hitters in baseball history
C) As an idiot
D) If he’s remembered at all, that’s too good for him.
10) If you could say one thing to Manny Ramirez right now, what would it be?
A) You’re awesome. Call me, bro.
B) I hope this time you’ve finally found some peace and do right by yourself, your family, and your team.
C) Almost everyone who’s repentent deserves another chance, but you’re on thin ice, pal. Watch your step or you’ll be out of here on your ear.
D) “The fact that Manny Ramirez is here, on the far end of this room, occupying a corner locker, is absolutely unconscionable…. It is a privilege, not a right, to play major league baseball. And he’s left so many messes and burned so many people, he long ago should have lost that privilege. Right is right, and wrong is wrong. And this is wrong from every angle.”
For each time you answered A, give yourself 3 points.
For each time you answered B, give yourself 2 points.
For each time you answered C, give yourself 1 point.
For each time you answered D, give yourself 4 points.
And the results:
10-17 points - You have a healthy skepticism about Manny and wonder whether someone with his history can possibly make it through an entire season without incident. You are resigned to the fact that he’s probably going to slip up at some point and show up late, or miss an at bat because he’s in the john, or hit an clubbie, and that will be the last straw. Either way, his skills have probably atrophied so much tat it won’t matter.
19-24 points - You are rooting for Manny, but you’re realistic about the risk involved in employing someone who has been so unstable. You think there’s enough juice left that Manny will make the club after finishing his suspension, and you’re glad you’ll get one more chance to see one of the most gifted and controversial players of the past 50 years.
25-30 points - Whoa, slow down there tiger. You are a fanboy, or a fratboy, or just a tool. You think you and Manny would totally hit it off if you ever met up, like, at a bar or an airport or something. You keep looking for him at those places, because you think you’d be great in an entourage. You are absolutely blind to the very real risks associated with having Manny Ramirez on a baseball team. You probably are as unreliable as he is, because you medicate with some combination of Jack Daniels, pot, and cocaine.
31-40 points - You are Scott Miller of CBS Sports. You are a seemingly nice guy who has a passionate love of the game. Perhaps too much so. It’s left you with a childish naivete about the nature of the game and you feel personally betrayed by Manny Ramirez’s previous failures (which had nothing to do with you). You think your sports column for a major media outlet is the perfect place to get some retribution for how embarrassed you are that you, like a 9 year old, actually put your faith in a baseball player. And despite the fact that you were willing to give Ramirez “a second chance” after he had gotten caught the first time, you refuse to vote for Jeff Bagwell , who never even burned up his first chance, for the Hall of Fame. You should get out more.