Manny Ramirez has been called many things in his baseball career from "flake" to "distraction" to "pure hitter" to "clueless shithead". Business Week gives him another moniker: corporate innovator. The tagline for the story is "Why the Dodgers' dreadlocked bad-boy is the best thing to happen to L.A. since martinis and plastic surgery". Hmm. That's an interesting take, one that probably wouldn't be used by Jon Heyman or Baseball Prospectus. (Well, maybe Baseball Prospectus.) The article gets all wonky about Manny's addition to the overall team's dynamic and how this can be applied in the corporate environment. Even though Manny's an "instigator" he's still beneficial for the team, both literally and figuratively. The benefit? FUN with a capital "M."
In most workplaces, it can be easy to dismiss the element of fun because we're focused on serious stuff. But in 1948, Swiss mountaineer George de Mestral hit the trail and noticed the burrs stuck to his dog's coat. He looked at the burrs under a microscope, and that's when his idea struck. People laughed and thought it was silly. But he ignored the skeptics and invented a new two-sided fastener, Velcro. But in business, we focus on profits and losses. In school these days, we emphasize scores more than creative activities. Before Manny, it was all about the Dodgers' mediocre statistics this season. Inject a little "Manny being Manny" and it's a whole new ball game, even if L.A. doesn't win the World Series.
So, what they're saying is that Manny Ramirez is the George de Mestral of sports. Karl Ravetch should make a note of that. Manny Ramirez: Baseball's Most Innovative Player [Business Week]