And now the Yankees picked up Demaso Marte, Xavier Nady, and Ivan Rodriguez for basically nothing (why the FUCK are the Yankees always the beneficiary of those kind of one-sided trades?!? Drives me absolutely ape shit bananas.) And the Angels got Mark Teixiera without breaking the bank. Meanwhile those two teams just took 5 of 6 from the Sox. The Rays show no signs of faltering. A playoff spot is in serious jeopardy. The water is officially boiling.
And then we come to the Manny situation. Lately, whenever I hear any sort of trade rumors, or the latest quote where Manny bashes the Red Sox front office, I have chosen to react like any rational 5-year-old would, by essentially putting my fingers in my ears and saying "la la la la la la if I can't hear it then it's not real." But there is no ignoring it anymore. He may get traded, he may not, but either way, there is officially a 0% chance of the Sox picking up their option on Manny in the off-season, meaning that even in the best case scenario, there are only 3 months left of Manny playing in Boston. I've lived in blissful, ignorant denial for almost a week now, but I'm gonna have to start wrapping my mind around it.
I have realized one thing these last few days, though. I unconditionally love Manny. In every sense of the word. Despite his incredibly childish behavior lately (even by his standards) I can't get mad at him. Unlike Johnny Damon, who I still boo every time he comes to the plate (I hold grudges well) Manny could sign with the Yankees and I would still love him. Damon is 10 times the professional that Manny is, but it just doesn't seem to matter. You'd be hard pressed to find an athlete in recent memory who has acted up so much in an effort to get out of his current situation...and it just doesn't affect how I feel about him. Can't explain it.
At this point, I don't know what Manny would have to do for me to not still love him. Start striking out on purpose? Let fly balls drop at his feet without moving? Spray paint "Go fuck yourself, Boston" on the Green Monster during a pitching change? Start shooting couples in parked cars like the Son of Sam? You got me. Manny is like the aging family dog that routinely pees on the carpet, and has recently started biting the neighborhood kids when they get too close, but I just can't bring myself to take him to the vet to put him down.
I guess the only thing I can ask at this point is for Manny to survive the trade deadline. The Sox come to Kansas City next week, and I would like to see him in a Boston uniform at least one more time in person. Please?