Manny Ramirez was asked if his early season struggles were the result of him pressing in an effort to make a good impression. Manny hasn’t hit much these days, but he smacked that one out of the park:
“I don’t need to impress nobody. I’ve got almost 600 home runs.”
Truth. Maybe not as to how Rays fans actually feel — they’d probably like to be a bit more impressed right now — but on the notion that Manny is not, by damn sight, the kind of guy who feels he needs to prove anything to anyone. I mean, no one has yet found the Rosetta Stone for Manny Ramirez-motivation, but we can be pretty sure that it’s not about what other people think.
For what it’s worth, I’m one of those people who thinks/thought that Manny will/would have a big year in Tampa. Because, rather than the wacky lazy caricature he is considered by many, I think he has a twisted sort of inner motivation. How could he not given what he’s accomplished? Lots of guys with his raw talent have done way, way less.
One day, after he’s dead, someone is going to cut him open and find some alien/super hero DNA and realize that he was motivated by something akin to saving the Bottled City of Kandor or something. Until then: mystery.
Lots of teams have crazy concession items and lots of them will circulate photos of the more gonzo ones in the coming week leading up to the baseball season. The Braves, however, have been one of the more aggressive players in the gimmick concession item game in recent years, and they just sent around a release talking about some of the stuff they, and their concessionaire, Delaware North, will be serving at their new ballpark, Sun Trust Park, in 2017.
Among them:a blackened catfish po boy, which is a blackened 6-ounce filet of catfish cut up among three tacos, with a cajun remoulade. Some BBQ beef brisket sliders. A double burger. An ice cream bar. They’re also going to have a regionally-inspired thing called “The Taste of Braves Country,” showcasing southern cooking from Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama. Which they’re calling “Braves Country.” Accurate enough, I guess, even if some of us are old enough to remember when they aspired to be a national team. Alas.
The big item, though, is this one:
It’s called the “Tomahawk Chop” sandwich. It’s a fried pork chop with collard green slaw and white BBQ sauce. It serves four and costs $26. I’m guessing it tastes fantastic, but I think the name is pretty cringeworthy for the same reason the cheer which gives it its name is. And, given the dynamics of the Braves move to their new stadium, the choice of BBQ sauce is . . . amusing? I dunno.
Anyway, enjoy, Braves fans.
Ten days ago Nationals ace Max Scherzer said he’d be ready for the start of the regular season. “I’m gonna do it,” Scherzer said.
[Ron Howard from “Arrested Development” voice] — No, he’s not:
Nationals manager Dusty Baker said that Max Scherzer is not on track to be the team’s opening day starter, and will most likely open the season as the third pitcher in the rotation.
He’s still projected to make it to the opening rotation, taking the hill, most likely, on Thursday April 6 against the Marlins. At least if the schedule doesn’t slip any more.
Scherzer, as you probably know, has a stress fracture in the knuckle of his right ring finger, which has messed with his preparation and has caused him to alter his grip a bit. As of now Stephen Strasburg will get the Opening Day nod.