The Manny Diaries

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The Manny Diaries

By: Rich Levine
CSNNE.com

Theres plenty of time to talk Celtics later in the week, so today were stepping away from the norm with a very special guest:

Manny Ramirez.

As you probably heard, Manny retired from baseball this weekend after 18 seasons, 2500 hits, 550 home runs, and now three positive drug tests.

You can say hes walking away. You say hes being forced out. But whatever it is, Mannys just not playing anymore, and suddenly has a ton of time on his hands

Which is probably why he contacted our office about writing a running diary for Sunday nights Red SoxYankees game.

Of course, we obliged.

The Manny Diaries: Red Sox vs. Yankees
Date: April 10, 2011
Time: 8 pm
Location: Parts Unknown

8 pm: Hey, everybody its Manny!

We're here for the best rivalry in baseball. Red Sox vs. Yankees. Josh Beckett vs. CC Sabathia. Manny vs. Manny. It's on.

And this is my diary, so let's start diarrheaing. (Is that how you say it?.)

8:03: First pitch at 8 pm? Not on Mannys TV. Ugh. Cant stand when people are late.

8:13: Top 1st: And were off! Brett Gardner goes down swinging, and that brings up Derek Jeter. Hes really struggling, huh? Its a shame when these players stop taking care of their bodies, man. I could never let that happen. Mannys actually stronger today than he was when he was 25! Good genes, I guess.

8:15: Easy first inning for Beckett. Hes bringing the heat! And you know hes feeling good when hes throwing the curveball.

Speaking of curveballs, how about this: Mannys not wearing any pants.

8:17: Bottom 1st: Tito rolls out his seventh different batting order of the season, and I guess this is a big deal? Not if you ask me. I never even knew my spot in the order, man. Just used to wait for someone to yell, Manny!? Youre on deck! Then I wake up and get to work. Nothing else mattered. Bunch of prima donnas these days.

8:25: I forgot how mean they can be at Fenway, man. Booing Youk?! He just got a hit, too. Oh well. 0-0, after one inning.

8:31: Stat from ESPN: Of the 50 players on active rosters for this game, 30 have appeared in at least one All-Star Game. One all-star game? Ha. How easy is it to come up with only one excuse for not playing?

8:41: Bottom 2nd: The announcer just said that Mike Cameron will be in the lineup against tough lefties. Haha! These guys are funny!

8:44: Over the last 10 years, the Red Sox have spent 285M to upgrade Fenway Park and 160M to upgrade Manny!

Speaking of contracts, man. You gotta like this move Boston made for Clay Buchholz. Only 30M for a player like that? Thats nothing these days. Funny story: I was looking for a missing piece to my train set earlier today and found 5M cash under the couch cushion. And it wasn't even my money-hiding couach.

Anyway, its 0-0 after two.

8:52: Top 3rd: Eric Chavez hits a single. The first hit against Beckett. Chavez is playing tonight for the under the weather Alex Rodriguez. Haha! Please. You cant fool, Manny! How can he be under the weather when its only like 40 degrees!?

8:55: Woah, Woah. Tampa is coming to Fenway THIS week!? How did Manny not know this? Think Joe would mind if I tagged along for an extra couple days? Would be nice to get back and see some guys, you know? Anyway, the Yankees are threatening. First and second, one out, top of the order and

8:56: Woah! Brett Gardner hits one up the middle, but Pedey twirls the double play by himself! Unbelievable! But what the hell was Gardner doing after he hit it?! You dont gotta run so fast, man! Haha! Its just a ground ball, you know? They gonna throw you out anyway!

9:05: Bottom 3rd: Bostons turn to rally! Pedey with a single. Gonzalez with a single! Youk with a walk! (Why are they still booing?). Bases loaded, no outs for Papi!

9:06: Wow! Boston takes the lead on a ground ball but, you know, the ump calls Youk for sliding outside of the base path, and they take the run away! Titos not very happy! This is crazy. Looks like I got out at the right time. These new rules are killing the game! Base path? HA! What will they think of next?

9:09: Chavez looks a little under the weather trying to field Camerons infield single, and we have our first run! 1-0, Boston after three.

9:14: Top 4th: Beckett gets into a little bit of trouble, but sets down Nick Swisher to escape. Quick question: Now that Im retired, does this mean I get discount at the movies?

What if I own the theater?

9:26: Bottom 4th: OK, we GET it. Sabathia stopped eating Captain Crunch! Did anyone care when Manny kicked his cotton candy habit? Where were they then? Where was Mannys parade?!

9:28: Sabathia with an easy inning. Now seems like a good time to mention that Manny has a career .643 against Sabathia.

9:32: Top 5th: Theyre talking about Jason Vartiek becoming Becketts personal catcher, and you know, Mannys cool with that. Its easy to get attached to people in this game, man. I still BBM with Ino Guerrro every day!

9:37: 1-2-3 for Beckett. Again. Speaking of dominant pitching. You guys heard this stuff about Pedro? He wants to come back to Boston? Says all he needs is like a month and a half to get ready? Thats crazy, right?

Come on, Pedro. Let it go. Just be happy in retirement. Just like Manny.

9:42: Bottom 5th: Ay! Gonzalez takes a fastball on the fingers! They just showed the replay, but not sure I understand this Super Slo Mo Thats how the ball always looks

9:47: ESPN shows that Aaron Boone homer. Real funny guys! Id forgot that ever happened

No, seriously.

9:53: Hey! Its Kevin and Theo! Whats happenin guys? Millar, man. Give. Me. A. Call. Its on, man.

9:54: Its officially a pitchers duel! 1-0, Red Sox through five.

10:01: Top 6: Another 1-2-3 inning for Beckett. Eight straight batters! Hes really locked in, man. You know, when hes going like this you barely have to pay attention in the outfield. I swear, back in 2007, Manny was sleeping half the time. Ahh, those were the good old days

10:03: Hey, Theo! Listen, Ive been thinking and I might want to come out of retirement and play for Boston. No, Im serious! Just give me like 100 days. Ill be ready!

10:08: Bottom 6th: Crawfords on second, Pedey (after another hit) is on first. Sabathia walks Adrian Gonzalez to load the bases and thats all for CC. Wait, CC? Hey, hes got the same initials as Captain Crunch? Wonder if hes ever tried that stuff?

Joba Chamberlains coming in for the Yankees.

10:14: Gah!! What happened to Joba, man!? Is this still an allergic reaction from those bugs in Cleveland? Hes like this guy we used to call Guapo back in Boston, man. Boom! Haha!

10:15: Youkilis grounds out. Joba gets it done. Boston has now left eleven men on base. (Theeeeo, dont forget my offer!)

10:19: Top 7th: Another 1-2-3 inning for Beckett. Hes unstoppable. Also, anyone know Ken Griffey Jr.s agent. Manny might want in on the Dicks Sporting Goods gig.

10:27: Bottom 7th: Ooh, they talking about Manny! This will be huh?

Arrogance? Ignorance? My numbers look hollow? I let down my teammates?!

Haha. Its funny how much they think Manny cares.

10:28: Psssh. Bobby Valentine says I acted with a great deal of stupidity. This coming from a guy who wears fake mustaches in the dugout

10:30: I swear, I dont care at all about this Hall of Fame stuff, you know? But did Buster Olney just say hell vote McGwire, Bonds and Clemens into the Hall of Fame, but not Manny? Thats crazier than Julian Tavarez, man. Really? Im worse than Bonds?

10:33: Aye aye, sorry about that. Back to the game.

Bottom 7th. bases loaded, one out: Marco Scutaros at the plate.

10:34: Boom! Two-run double. 3-0 Sox! Jobas out. The Sox are up. Manny likes!

10:47: Top 8th: Becketts still cruising, man You know there hasnt even been one ball hit to left field yet? Hope Carls not too bored!. If things get real bad he can always cut off a through from center field.

Anyway, ANOTHER 1-2-3 inning for Beckett. Looks like he might be done for the night. Most of all, Im just amazed Ive paid attention for this long.

10:53: Bottom 8th: Aye, Papi! Double to deep center. 4-0, Boston. Papi's looking brand new, huh? That's what I was going for in Tampa

11:03: Top 9th: Papelbon to Gardner, strike 3!

11:04: Papelbon to Jeter, 4-3! (really a shame how much hes let himself go)

11:05: Paps and I didn't end on the best note, but I can't be too mad at him. I mean, come one, it's Paps! (Starts giggling and dancing around the house)

11:06: Paps to Teixeira and Teixeira is fighting

11:07: And Teixeira is fighting

11:08: And Manny's getting impatient

11:09: And, boom! Strike three called and everybody can go home! And I can go to Spain! I love this new life, guys. It feels like I can finally just be me!

11:11: Thats all from me, folks. My flight leaves in five hours and I can't find a suitcase big enough to fit all my belts. Hope you all had a good game and thank you for playing along.

Well end with todays awards.

MVP: Josh Beckett.

Best Diary: Manny!

See you next time!

Rich Levine's column runs each Monday, Wednesday and Friday on CSNNE.com. Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrlevine33

Sullinger on Celtics: 'I watch from a distance, I support from a distance'

Sullinger on Celtics: 'I watch from a distance, I support from a distance'

BOSTON – The trip to the TD Garden is one that Jared Sullinger has made many times but never like this. 

The former Celtic was back in town with his new team, the Toronto Raptors who signed him to a one-year, $5.6 million deal after the Celtics rescinded their qualifying offer to him and thus made him an unrestricted free agent. 

“I had a feeling it was going to go that way once they signed big Al (Horford), that they were going to let me go,” Sullinger said prior to Friday’s game.  “We were prepared for it. It is what it is. I’m happy these guys are doing well.”

And he hopes to say the same for himself sometime in the future after undergoing surgery to have a screw inserted in the fifth metatarsal of his left foot – the same foot he had season-ending surgery on during the 2014-2015 season with the Celtics. 

There’s no specific timetable as to when he’ll be back on the floor, and Sullinger is cool with that plan. 

“I don’t know. They’re hiding the protocol from me so I won’t rush; we’ll see,” said Sullinger who is still in a walking boot. 

The 6-foot-9 forward played well in the preseason and solidified himself as the team’s starting power forward. 

Now that he’s out with another injury, he’ll have to once again try and prove himself either later this season when he returns, or this summer when he becomes a free agent again.

For now, Sullinger is happy to be back in town, seeing lots of familiar faces, friends and ex-teammates that he says he still keeps in close contact with. 

“Some of these guys I considered like brothers to me,” Sullinger said. “IT (Isaiah Thomas), Jae Crowder to name a few. So I watch from a distance, I support from a distance. They’re playing well.”

In addition to his former teammates, the lines of communication remained open between him and Celtics head coach Brad Stevens as well. 

Stevens said the two exchanged text messages right before he had foot surgery, and afterwards. 

“Obviously, everyone here wishes a speedy recovery and hopefully he gets back on the court soon,” Stevens said. 

Sullinger has been an effective player during his time in the NBA, with career averages of 11.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. 

But this will be the third time in his five NBA seasons that he will miss a significant amount of time on the court due to an injury or recovering from an injury. 

Stevens acknowledged that he feels for Sullinger who once again has to go through rehabilitation in order to get back on the floor.

“I like Jared a lot,” Stevens said. “He’s a heck of a player, he’s a really smart guy. Got a lot of respect for him and it stinks that he’s got to go through that but he’ll come back strong I’m sure.”

Stars, studs and duds: Celtics have no answer for Lowry

Stars, studs and duds: Celtics have no answer for Lowry

BOSTON — For most of Friday night’s game, the Boston Celtics played the kind of game that on most nights would result in a victory. 

But Toronto is one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference with talent, depth and an undeniable desire to win at all costs. 

One strong quarter by the Raptors was just enough to put away the Celtics, 101-94. 

And it came in the third when Toronto outscored Boston 33-18 which turned out to be the only quarter the Raptors (16-7) outscored the Celtics. 

“They got hot; made some tough shots,” said Boston’s Marcus Smart. “The tough shots kind of hurt us.”

The tough shots and a flawless 8-for-8 performance from the free throw line. 

While it’s a 48-minute game, there was no getting around the fact that it was Toronto’s dominance in the third that ultimately determined the game’s outcome. 

“If you look at it from our perspective it’s what went wrong; if you look at it from theirs, they ratcheted up the defense quite a bit (in the third quarter),” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “It was hard for us to break their … break their wall of defense.”

In the third quarter, Boston shot just 27.8 percent from the field, 30 percent (3-for-10) on 3’s and a woeful 5-for-10 from the free throw line. 

“We started making everything difficult for them and not letting them get that easy in and try to take advantage of that,” said Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan.

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Friday night’s game.

 

STARS

Kyle Lowry

The Celtics had no answer for the All-Star point guard who led all players with 34 points, 21 of which came in the second half. 

Avery Bradley

Bradley was the lone Celtics starter who seemed to be in a good shooting flow, tallying 19 points on 7-for-11 shooting which included five made 3’s. 

DeMar DeRozan

The Celtics made him work a lot harder than he usually does to score, but he still managed to tally 24 points – just four points below his season average – on 9-for-25 shooting.

 

STUDS

Al Horford

He made a few more turnovers than usual, but Horford still put together a relatively balanced performance. He had 19 points and seven rebounds with six assists and a blocked shot. 

Norman Powell

The X-factor in Friday’s outcome had to be Powell. A 5.8 points per game scorer this season, Powell had 20 points on 7-for-10 shooting along with a game-high five steals. 

 

DUDS

Jae Crowder

With Isaiah Thomas (right groin) out, the Celtics really needed its core starters to step up and have a productive night offensively. Crowder just didn’t have it going on Friday, scoring just seven points on 2-for-11 shooting which included a number of 3s that rimmed in and out on him.