Friday, October 10, 2008

McCarver: Debunked

On Wednesday I wrote that I agreed with most of something Tim McCarver said, which was a first. The "most of" part was the opinions; the part where McCarver called Manny's actions in Boston "despicable."

Now Joe Sheehan from Baseball Prospectus has taken a swipe at McCarver's lack of facts. I loathe McCarver. I respect and admire Sheehan; he's a brilliant baseball analyst. They couldn't be any more different.

But their similarity is that they both leaned too far one way and didn't consider the other: McCarver stuck with his opinion and his gut, ignoring the facts, while Sheehan relied solely on fact and ignored everything else.

You see, the Manny Enigma ("Mannygma"?) is a controversy steeped in how we as fans feel. You can't just analyze Manny's stats in July and call it done. And you can't just say that Manny is the worst human being ever and say you've done your job.

Sheehan's point is that Manny couldn't've been a bad teammate because he played, and played well, in July. Yay! He played! Of course he played; he was trying to earn a monster contract or a trade out of town. And the consecutive DNPs on July 23rd and 25th, the latter of which was against the Yankees, were the breaking point.

At this point, Manny was "allegedly" faking a knee injury. An injury which prompted the Sox to force him to have MRIs on both, determining that he had no problems with them. This is what McCarver is referring to when he brings up Manny forgetting which leg had the limp. So Sheehan conveniently leaves out this fact.

Sheehan also leaves out when Manny shoved an elderly man to the ground in the clubhouse over free tickets, slapped Kevin Youkilis in the face in the dugout, refused to go to Walter Reed Medical Center to visit wounded war veterans, and many other things that went unreported in an effort to keep him happy in Boston.

Curt Schilling, never one to shy away from a soundbite, even said that Manny's "level of disrespect to teammates and people was unfathomable."

So yes, I'm happy that Manny is gone. I have zero respect for him as a person. Great ballplayer, one of the best ever, but I can't respect the man. And I can't imagine how anyone can, based on the facts. And I don't mean the statistics.

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