Saturday, August 2, 2008

Manny... I will follow you anywhere

Thursday was starting off to be a good day. I had taken Joey to school and Gabby and I were home. I got all the bills paid and then had errands to run in an attempt to get ready for Joey’s birthday parties this weekend. As we were out running errands we ran into my dad. It was around 2:00p.m. He says to me “are you going to be a Marlins fan now”? “NO” I reply. “Why”? My dad knows that I am the biggest fan Manny Ramirez has. My dad knows all about the love affair that began with Manny in 1995. He knows that no matter what people say to me about Manny and his boneheaded plays, jogging to first base, or even when Manny admires hits that come off of his bat I will stick up for him and defend him to no end. So the conversation continues and my dad is trying to convince me that Manny is going to be traded to the Marlins. First of all the Marlins are not a team that this girl would EVER root for. One word or year is all I will say. 1997. Period end of story. 1997. The year that the Indians (another Cleveland team) blew it and lost the biggest game of their lives and another title for the city. I told my dad it isn’t happening and I know this because I was checking my computer about a possible Manny trade before leaving my home. Nothing thus far had happened. I said to him today is the last day that a trade could occur. He says I know they have until midnight. Midnight… Hmm I believed him on the hour that they had to do a trade. I get Gabby back in the car and we leave to go see my mom. I get on her computer and it says “Manny deal to the Marlins, dead for now”. Relief. I took a big sigh of relief. I went home and put on sports center. I saw the clock counter on the television and learned that a possible deal could only happen until 4:00 p.m. I call my dad and tell him this. It is now almost 3:20. 40 minutes. We can do this, 40 minutes. I waited until 4:45 p.m. to leave my home to get Joey from summer camp. I was so happy. Nothing happened. Manny was staying in Boston. Again relief.
I got Joey from school and had on the local Cleveland station on the a.m. radio for sports talk. Soon I realized that no one but me in Cleveland cares about the possible Manny trade. They were talking Browns football. I was rolling my eyes. I can already predict the Browns year for you. They will lose against the Steelers, they will win maybe 3 games, and the season will come to an end. They broke for a news report and then I heard it. “Manny was traded to the Dodgers today”. WHAT? It can’t be true. They had until 4:00 pm. I left my house at 4:45 there was nothing about that being said.
I got home and went straight to the television rewinding (thanks TiVo) everything I missed about the trade. It was true. I was sick. I had tears in my eyes.
My love affair with Manny started in the late 90’s. I was watching Manny before he was making the big bucks, before he was a household name, and before everyone in the country knew about this amazing hitter. I was at the World Series in 95 and 97. I was at many games before Manny went to the Red Sox. I was on the Jumbotron (scoreboard) in Cleveland holding a sign once that read “Always believe in Super Manny”. (Silly, I know). I was in love. I proudly wore my Ramirez jersey and I always stuck up for him even if I was defending a bonehead play or something silly Manny had done. To me it was watching this amazing player go up to the plate and hit a ball out of the park or a hard solid hit to get on base. Watching him swing and knowing that when the bat hit the ball that the ball would soon be landing over the heads of many fans. I watched him hit many homeruns and was always proud of how talented he is. I admired him. When Manny went to the Red Sox I was happy for him. I was happy that he would be making more money. In my eyes he deserved it. He is in my opinion the best hitter in the game. He knows how to look at each pitch and find one that he likes. I have seen him at the ball park look for the pitch he wants and foul the others off. He has such patience as he waits for the one that he wants to hit out of the park. I was devastated that he left Cleveland, but I also have always had a soft spot in my heart for Boston. This began when I was into the New Kids on the Block as a young teenager. (Different post for a different day)
When Manny went to Boston whenever the team traveled to Cleveland we went to at least one game in the series. I say this because it is true… every time I go to a Red Sox vs. Cleveland game Manny hits a home run. This has happened every game but maybe one. I felt like his good luck charm. Two years ago Jeff and I went to Fenway for the first time and saw a game against the Tribe. To be in Fenway and see the green monster, experience fans that are so different than in Cleveland and be at a ball park that the best of the best players have played at was truly something I will never forget.
Jeff got me one year the MLB ticket which allowed me to watch all the Red Sox game in the comfort of my home. It was great to be able to watch the team and root for them and feel a part of the city although I was miles away cheering them on. When Manny was in Boston he was given a saying “Manny being Manny”. We have a saying in our home that is “Gabby being Gabby”. This was after her colic and her temper.
I have had a great time following my favorite baseball player. I wish him the best of luck as a Dodger and after reading everything it looks like this was not only a good move for Manny but one that was good for Boston.
Soon I will be getting me one of these:

I know this is dreaming, but I would love to see Manny back playing here on a daily basis. The Tribe generals have other plans for our farm.... So unitl you come back to play here Manny, I will try to watch you on the tube.

1 comment:

Will Piper said...

Being a fellow baseball fan, I totally admire your dedication to Manny. I have to say that CC is quickly becoming one of my favs. Think about if you took a combined team of who the tribe had over the past 10 years. You'd have a pretty impressive line up!

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