‘That’s just Manny being Manny.’
For years it’s been the line on Mr. Ramirez. The translation: Manny’s conceited, plays outfield like a buffoon but drives in a ton of runs and we just think he’s great.
His shtick was always engaging.
But not anymore.
Language barriers are serious stuff. The stunt that bilingual Ramirez and his translator Joey Cora pulled at their Spanish-only press conference Tuesday could’ve been seen as hostile and taken as a slight by English-only reporters and White Sox fans.
I’ve often wished that I spoke Spanish. In a perfect world no one would ever feel excluded because of a language barrier. But Rosetta Stone, Berlitz or college coursework aside, without being immersed in the culture the average adult will never become fluent.
Is it possible the press conference was an attempt to educate Americans on how many Spanish-speaking people often feel excluded in a nation that conducts its business largely in English? If yes, I applaud the motive but dislike the nonchalant, secretive method.
It’s been a downhill slide for Ramirez since being traded to the Dodgers in 2008. Getting suspended in 2009 for violating MLB’s policy on PEDs (HCG) has only hastened his demise. Manny’s customarily huge power numbers have become downright pedestrian.
We’re witnessing the end of a long, often thrilling career of a man-child who’s turning cold towards many of the people who, for the most part, treated him like a hero.
Keys to Sport
About the Author
Written by Steven Keys
A native of the old Northwest Territory, my wife and I have lived in four Midwestern states and Arizona. Today we live in Duluth, Georgia. I have a history / legal background.