IS EVERYONE’S FAVORITE DREADLOCKED GOOFBALL actually a bonafide genius? Joe Posnanski of SI.com makes the case:
The following column is dedicated to the admittedly bizarre proposition that one Manuel Aristides (Onelcida) Ramirez, sometimes known as Man-Ram or Manny Being Manny or just plain Manny, is a genius. Now, it’s not an easy case to make that a man who tries to run to third on a ground rule double, who sometimes disappeared into the Green Monster during pitching changes, who gets pulled over by police for having overly tinted car windows is a genius.
And he’s got some people who might back the theory:
Bill James, a baseball writer (and Boston Red Sox advisor) who has spent much of his life knocking down baseball myths, believes that Manny Ramirez is such a good hitter, he will purposely get into full-counts when there is a runner on first base. The reason? With a full-count, that runner will be running on the pitch and, as such, will become an RBI when Ramirez hits a double into the gap.
“I’ve seen it too many times to doubt it,” Bill says.
Allard Baird, a longtime baseball scout and executive (and Boston Red Sox advisor) believes Manny Ramirez is such a good hitter, he will sometimes swing and miss at a pitch in April so that the pitcher will throw him that same pitch in September. The idea being: He won’t miss that pitch in September.
“When it comes to hitting, the guy’s mind works on a whole other level,” Allard says.