A sad day in baseball. A day when a player who wouldn't hustle to get out of a burning building passed a player held together with wrapping tape and grit who got that way because he would run through a brick wall. Manny passes Mickey on the home run list. No justice in this universe.
PPS: In the cold (damp) light of morning, allow me to temper this thought. It would be wrong to simply valorize Mickey Mantle at the expense of Manny Ramirez. The Mick was a heavy, heavy drinker and had he taken care of himself Manny wouldn't even be able to smell his home run total. Imagine Mantle pampered by today's doctors and trainers -- let alone managers! My god, if Trey Hillman treated Mantle the way he treats his prize closer, The Mick would only be allowed to play on Sundays. I always liked what Mantle said about Pete Rose in one of his autobiographies: If I'd wanted to dunk the ball in over the second baseman my whole career, I'd of worn a dress. Now, it's sexist and it rankles the Rose-ites, but the point is Mantle played the game full-on, and I like a person who goes full-on in anything.
OK, every time I try to write about Mickey Mantle I get caught in some kind of inconsistency trap, like this sexist remark, and I have to apologize. Exactly what I love about the man, or, the myth he created, don't you know.
In truth, my great desire is to see a woman play ball in the major leagues.
Well, as the Texas politician said: When you figure out you're digging a hole for yourself, stop digging.
So --peace, out...