Put his latest caper in the latter category. During the All-Star break, Boston's star space cadet went out of his way to tell The Boston Herald that he is unhappy with the way Red Sox management is treating him. Using some barnyard epithets, he accused the team of telling him one thing then doing something else behind his back. He didn't say what it was, but he made it sound nefarious.
Red Sox owner John Henry did not attempt to minimize the damage. Instead, he characterized the slugger's statements as personally offensive, the Herald reported.
The good news for Boston is that the exchange probably won't hurt the team. Manny's teammates are accustomed to his occasional bouts of irrational behavior. And Manny himself is in the option year of his contract, so he's not going to decide his back hurts and take a seat on the bench. He needs to put up numbers to insure that he continues to make maximum money next year and beyond.
But that neither excuses nor explains his behavior. He has known all along that the team would not discuss his contract until the end of the year, when the team has the option to keep him for two more years at $20 million per or give him his freedom.
Ramirez is enormously popular among the fans and his teammates seem to be genuinely fond of him. The team pays him huge amounts of money and has helped him win two rings.
You'd think that would be enough to keep anyone happy. At the very least, it should be enough to make him appreciate what he has and not grouse in public about imagined slights. He gives you the impression that he sits up nights trying to think of reasons to be unhappy with a situation that most mortals would find as close to heaven as you can get on this earth.
But you'd also think that Roger Clemens would quit with the everybody's-lying-but-me defense, and Brett Farvre would realize what a farce he's become, and Chad Johnson would come to understand he has a pretty good job.
They don't, though, which only shows that having everything is no guarantee of happiness. Most ballplayers are decent enough not to mention the great injustices in their lives. For all the grief Alex Rodriguez takes, for instance, he almost never whines about it but instead keeps repeating how happy he is to be in New York. The chronic complainers in sports could stand to learn at least that much from him.
What makes Manny's act so annoying is that after going through two hankies while unburdening his soul, he then said, according to The Herald, that he wants to stay in Boston.
Makes you wonder if he ever actually listens to what he says, because in one relatively brief interview, he basically said, Boston stinks, and I love it there.
Images from the 79th All-Star Game and events
Taking a look at some of the greatest catchers off all time.