Don't know about you, but watching the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball game on ESPN irked this writer with its public skewering of Manny Ramirez. Manny, as many of you know, returned to Boston with the Dodgers for an interleague series. No matter what you think happened during Manny Ramirez's last season with the Red Sox, was it necessary to bring in Curt Schilling whose opinion on the subject has already been so public?
There are two things that disturb this writer about allowing Schilling to come into the booth and pull no punches on what happened with Manny during his last year with the Red Sox. First, isn't Schilling the first one to talk about the sanctity of the clubhouse if someone violates it? And here he is airing things all out there in public without allowing Manny to defend himself. It was a public execution. As far as the Fan knows, Manny has never aired his opinions on what happened in Boston. Schilling took great pride and enthusiasm in publicly skewering Ramirez and that doesn't seem right.
The second thing that bothered the Fan about the whole thing was ESPN allowing and probably encouraging the public flogging to take place. It would have been natural to bring Schilling into the booth at the scene of his heroics. Sure, bring the old workhorse in and talk about those heroics. But Jon Miller allowed the questioning to go right to Manny and allowed Schilling the opportunity that Schilling handled with relish. If the Fan was in charge of the telecast, the directive would have been not to publicly hang Ramirez during a telecast that the man couldn't defend himself against. It was ugly, that's what it was. And it was mean spirited.
The Fan isn't sure that Manny doesn't deserve the negative take on his last year in Boston. That's a question for history and reflection. If you want to debate the issue, put Manny in an interview room with Schilling and let them go at it. But geez, to allow a former teammate to come on a telecast and bury the guy which then allowed Orel Hershiser to continue the character assassination was just wrong. You could tell that Joe Morgan was uncomfortable in the situation. But Jon Miller seemed to enjoy what he had created.
It was uncalled for and in this Fan's opinion, unprofessional. And in another final aside, was Orel Herschiser really irritating during the telecast or what? From his baiting of Joe Morgan to his multiple references of "studying," he came across as the little kid who tries harder than everyone else and has to make sure everyone knows it. Worse than anything Steve Phillips used to do...