Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez recently passed up an invitation to be a prop for a George W. Bush vanity photoshoot with the rest of the 2007 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. Evidently Manny didn’t feel like going to Washington, so he didn’t go. Man, did that put the authoritarian fetishists of WEEI sports radio in Boston into a snit. Evidently most of them never got the news flash that the USA is a republic, not a monarchy, and there’s no such thing as a command performance here. Yet.
Yesterday even the more-or-less sane on-air guys were going on about how, at the least, Manny’s doing whatever he chose to be doing instead of putting on a dorky suit and being ritually humiliated by the narcissistic asshole currently in residence in the White House was a “missed opportunity.” Missed opportunity for what, one might ask. A chance to be photographed kissing George Bush’s ass? That’s an opportunity I myself will be happy to miss indefinitely, thank you very much, and it doesn’t surprise me that Manny also chose to take a pass. Manny’s eccentricities are legendary, but in this case I think he was the sanest one in the group.
By what the callers & hosts were saying, I got the impression that Dennis & Callahan, the most overtly fascistic of the WEEI crew, had been apoplectic about Manny’s “unpatriotic” decision to exercise freedom to not do something that he was under no contractual or moral obligation to do. “Freedom” is evidently a very difficult concept for these guys to grasp.
Bush noted Ramirez’s absence with a typically boorish frat-boy joke about the death of Ramirez’s grandmother, which was widely repeated in print and on the air as a telling example of his stellar bonhomie and wit.
I know that after my Superduperbowl(TM) screed I promised to cut loose the WEEI until spring training. But darn it, the Sox were playing yesterday, a Grapefruit League warmer-upper against Minnesota. I just paid the paid the price for tuning in a bit too early.
UPDATE: I rewrote this a little for clarity since posting it this morning.