It's funny to see what little things become big stories in the glaring spotlight of the postseason. The latest molehill to be made into a mountain is the Manny Ramirez shower incident. As Jonathan Broxton was pitching in the bottom of the ninth inning last night, Manny was in the clubhouse, taking a shower. Manny was removed after the top of the ninth in favor of Juan Pierre for defensive purposes.
This is the type of issue tailor made for Bill Plaschke. Wind him up, and watch the outrage fly from keyboard to screen. In fact, Plaschke was so excited that his next column was essentially written for him, he couldn't wait, and posted a preview of sorts on The Fabulous Forum tonight:
Jonathan Broxton was sweating. Russell Martin was fearing. Joe Torre was grumbling. The Dodgers hanging on the dugout rail were clenching. The Dodgers fans watching at home were dying.
He was bathing.
The thing is, this really isn't a big deal. Manny always does this, so why should he change now? As Joe Torre told the NY Times:
"He’s a cool customer," Torre said. "But he certainly didn’t have any lack of respect because of that. I think the way it turned out, it probably doesn’t look good. But it’s nothing different than he had done before."
I do have a bit of an old school mind of this. I have always wondered why starting pitchers, for instance, go take a shower before the game is over, especially when they wait to see if their potential decision is still intact before departing to the clubhouse. But, I realize this is a common occurrence among many players, and if they don't have a problem with it, why should I, or anyone else?
"Why should we panic?" he said Wednesday in a rare clubhouse interview. "We've got a great team."
And then, this: "It doesn't happen, so who cares? There's always next year. It's not like it's the end of the world."
The Red Sox came back to win the three remaining games of that 2007 ALCS, and swept through the World Series as well.
Look, it's not news that Manny Ramirez marches to the beat of his own drum. He is wired differently than most humans, let alone fellow ballplayers. Whatever he has to do to be normal Manny, I'm all for it. As Casey Blake told MLB Network:
In the position we're in, you really have to have an 'I don't give a crap attitude.' Our backs are against the wall, and there's no room for that right now. You just gotta go out and have fun and just play relaxed. There's no room for being uptight anymore.
The Dodgers need to concentrate on winning one game at a time, and the more they can keep to their regular routine, the less they have to think about being down 3-1 or having to win three straight games. No pressure, no problem.