Friday, August 01, 2008


[Jim Rogash/Getty Images]

The mercurial Yankee-slayer. The perennial .300/30+/100+ guy. The mp3 sunglasses, piss breaks in the Monstah, baserunning for dummies, walking out groundballs, slide-tripping over the sprinkler to tie Game 1 of the World Series guy. I've defended the madness for 8 years now. I'm going to miss him. I'm really going to miss that first note: Yankee-slayer (.321 BA, 1.029 OPS, 55 HRs, 163 RBIs in 200 games against the Spanks). We're going to find out soon how good Papi really is now that Predator isn't coming to bat after him. You don't replace a bat like his. You can't. 2004 and 2007 don't happen without him. And we might have just kissed a shot at '08 goodbye. Manny's the only Red Sox player (current/former) to be featured in one of my Christmas cards, and, at that, the only Red Sox player I've ever met on the street. He is one of the greatest hitters ever. You simply don't replace guys like him. You just move on.

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