And while it's beyond aggravating to hear Manny speak of his misery in Boston when the general reaction to him was unabashed adulation, I'm not entirely unsympathetic to his complaints about his lack of privacy. Sometimes a guy just wants to be able to enjoy an appletini with his buddy Enrique without having to pose for pictures and autograph cocktail napkins. Admit it: We Sox fans can be a little, um, overenthusiastic sometimes.
LA fans will never be accused of that, and it will work to their benefit in this case. Don't pretend the Dodgers will rue the day they gave Manny two years. They won't. A happy Manny is a historically productive Manny, and while the Dodgers were basically bidding against themselves, the deal is nothing less than a bargain for them. He's in his happy place now, and so it's fair to assume he will be the same excellent hitter and teammate he was last season, when he singlehandedly slugged the Dodgers into the postseason.
Of course I wish Manny didn't regret signing here in December 2000, because I will always remember his time here well, and it's natural to wish he did, too, especially considering that he was paid roughly $160,000,000 during his 7 1/2-year sentence. But I feel fortunate to have watched one of the finest hitters of all time in his prime for the better part of a decade. And for the most part I was amused his antics, save for the half-hearted efforts out of the batter's box, the ill-timed days off, and the curiously aching knees. While Keith Foulke was the real MVP in the 2004 World Series, the Red Sox do not own two championships this decade, and probably not even one, without the presence and contributions of Manny. His personal happiness here might have been fleeting, but he sure as hell provided plenty of it for generations of Sox fans, right up until the bitter end.
Hey, like I said, it's complicated. But I hope yesterday's closure to the whole situation. I'm all Mannyed out.
His suffering is over. Time for ours to stop, too.
Now, if only Frank McCourt would sign Schilling . . .
About Touching All The Bases
Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.