As Brett Favre retirement stories were to the NFL prior to his bizarre un-retirement saga, the Red Sox trading/losing/cutting Manny Ramirez has been a similar annual storyline in Major League Baseball. For the last few years, the Red Sox have answered the pressing "What about Manny?" question, but just when you think the relationship appears irreparable, they always seem to work it out. Today, Portfolio's Franz Lidz gets a jump-start on the speculation and suggests that in 2009 Manny's baffling antics and powerful bat will finally be out of Boston. There will be plenty of stories written about this in the next year, but it's doubtful any of them will have a better lede graph than Lidz:
I once asked a prominent relief pitcher to describe the most idiotic thing he had witnessed in the big leagues. "That's easy," he said, and launched into the story of a former teammate—an All-Star outfielder—who refused to use toilet paper. A clubhouse attendant supplied the player with a daily ration of hand towels, which, when soiled, would be flushed. One afternoon the reliever came in from batting practice to find the locker room awash in frantic maintenance workers. When he asked a plumber what all the fuss was about, he was told that a washcloth-clogged toilet had overflowed and was threatening to submerge the bathroom stalls. "Of all the dumb stuff I've seen that particular outfielder do," the stopper told me, "that was the dumbest." That particular outfielder was, of course, Manny Ramirez.
Oh to be one of the hundreds of flies on the wall in the Red Sox locker room that day. Clock ticks on Manny moments [Portfolio]