We all have that one cousin. We talk about him on the carride to the family reunion, wondering if he’s going to insult your grandmother or puke in your aunt’s bathroom or say something unbelievably racist at a restaurant. Any day that he behaves himself is a little victory and every so often, he’ll string enough good days together that you think he grew out of it. But then he’ll barrel through a ten year old nephew during the family wiffleball game and you realize that he’s not going to change.
The city of Boston has a cousin like that too. And his name is Manny Ramirez. Sure, it’s better to have a self-absorbed idiot in the family than, say, a criminal. But it’s just rough to have to keep rationalizing away his actions. The most recent was a physical altercation with the team’s traveling secretary. Allow me to sum up what happened: Manny asked for a high number of tickets (16) on the day of the game, and the traveling secretary said it might not be possible. An argument started and the poor employee was shoved to the ground. One closed door apology later and all is forgiven. It is, of course, important to note that a happened resulted in a player being fired a week earlier. Granted, that was a general manager that Shawn Chacon shoved instead of a humble traveling secretary, but violence in the workplace is still violence in the workplace. Well, at least on paper.
This incident just reminds us that Cousin Manny can do whatever he wants to do while part of the family. A few weeks earlier, he took a swing at Youkilis. That’s two acts of physical aggression in the month of June. And each is just washed away. Washed away like every other bafflingly moronic thing that he’s done for the past ten years. It’s not going to stop. Fans and faithful have been aware of this for as long as he’s been in Boston. But with violence in the equation now, it is very unfortunate that even that doesn’t give anyone pause.
If this was any other player on the Red Sox, he’d be suspended. But it’s Cousin Manny. And Cousin Manny can do whatever he wants, making a generally proud and decent organization a pack of hyprocrites. But they’re not thinking too much about that, I suppose. They’re probably too busy prying Manny’s butt out of the punch bowl again.