On Ron Darling's "Mockery" Comment About Manny

Friday, October 03, 2008

So a few people wrote in about a moment from last night's Dodgers-Cubs game and I wanted to explore it a little bit today. Manny Ramirez had just hit a solo shot to centerfield off of Carlos Zambrano, and when going through the highlights, Ron Darling noticed a little smile that Manny flashed right before the pitch. Forget for a second the awesomeness of smiling at a pitcher and then hitting a homerun, but rather listen to Darling's comments immediately following the grin....

"A little smile by Manny, like he knows what's coming. Sometimes guys just make a mockery of the game. Don't they Tony?"- Ron Darling

Now at the time, I thought that he was saying that in a positive way (that Manny was just too good), but a few people wrote in saying that they were furious and the use of the word was negative. The statement is so ambiguous, that I can definitely see their point. I've currently got an email into TBS, but I wanted to get your thoughts while we wait for a response. I still think it was positive but Darling definitely should have used a different word.


Manny constantly mocks the game...why are people up in arms over this?

GMoney said...
Oct 3, 2008, 12:10:00 PM  

Manny wasn't smiling. He does that an awful lot. Having watched and admired this hitting savant (and yes I am a Manny apologist) that facial expression is just how he looks before settling in to hit.

Joe said...
Oct 3, 2008, 12:21:00 PM  

Find a Red Sox game that has a closeup of Manny in his pre-pitch motion and you'll see it.

Joe said...
Oct 3, 2008, 12:22:00 PM  

I watch Darling all the time. He always praises Manny. Bad choice of words but what he meant is the game come easy to Manny. He was saying how great he is.

Anonymous said...
Oct 3, 2008, 12:38:00 PM  

A] Manny wasn't even smiling at all. He was playing with, or adjusting, his mouthguard. He does it right before EVERY pitch he sees.

B] No way in hell Darling was complimenting Manny with, "some guys just make a mockery of the game, don't they Tony?" He has a negative opinion of Manny and forced the comment at the wrong time!!

Manny Ramirez works harder than everyone out there and DELIVERS IN THE CLUTCH time after time. Darling's Major League performance pales in comparison to Manny.

Oh, wait, Darling is a former Yankee!! Now it all makes sense.

Plum_tree said...
Oct 3, 2008, 12:40:00 PM  

At least Manny smiles before he jacks another 400 foot bomb. When Andruw played in Atlanta, he constantly had that "I don't give a shit" smirk (also just a facial expression), but it normally followed a whiff or a GIDP.

As for the mockery comment, the answer is yes to both. Manny being Manny, in a negative way b/c if he doesn't feel like it he won't do it (whatever "it" is) and positively b/c he does truly make it all look easy when he is dialed in.

TomahawkFlop said...
Oct 3, 2008, 12:40:00 PM  

Manny has mocked the game for years, and his stunt right before the trade is a good example of it. So is high-fiving the fan, and every other "Manny being Manny" thing he's ever done. He's still a great hitter, don't get me wrong, but c'mon; show a little appreciation for the game, will ya?
And yes, I'm one of those old-school types who doesn't like the guy standing at the plate admiring hr's(yes, even with Albert Pujols; I hate it), or a pitcher showing up a batter(yeah, I'm looking at you K-Rod). Sue me.

Bruce said...
Oct 3, 2008, 12:43:00 PM  

...or a NY Met. Either way he's way off here!!!

Plum_tree said...
Oct 3, 2008, 12:43:00 PM  

Umm... it's pretty fucking obvious to me that all he meant was that Manny owns the game at the plate so much he basically is able to skirt the fundamentals challenges of the game with ease, such as wondering what pitch is coming next. Talk about over-analyzing shit guys.

Ron Gardenhire said...
Oct 3, 2008, 12:49:00 PM  

"and DELIVERS IN THE CLUTCH time after time" haha, that's great. Hey, Darling started 3 World Series games and had a 1.53 ERA; perhaps he is even more clutch than Manny, possessing even greater clutchness.

Anonymous said...
Oct 3, 2008, 12:55:00 PM  

Amen, Ron Gardenhire. Spot on. Now I know why you are so successful in Minnesota with such a young team. No Hunter...no Santana...no problem.

shawn kemp said...
Oct 3, 2008, 12:55:00 PM  

The real mockery of this series is the Cubs' pitiful performance.

Tim said...
Oct 3, 2008, 1:14:00 PM  

From what I saw, I interpreted that Ronny was complimenting Manny and and telling Gwynn how easy he makes it look.

Anonymous said...
Oct 3, 2008, 1:21:00 PM  

I don't think it was a big deal- announcers both talk shit about and praise Manny all the time, but I took it to be negative, and from his reaction, it seems as though Tony Gwynn did too.

Anonymous said...
Oct 3, 2008, 1:24:00 PM  

We know Manny is a hitting savant (i.e., specialist) so it's obvious he was just raking like he always does. However, there are many other words than "mockery" which could have been used and a synonym should have been used, one that isn't so blatant.

Brad James said...
Oct 3, 2008, 1:27:00 PM  

It seemed that Darling was being a bit facetious, too. He's praised Manny a lot, I think he was making fun of people who say he's mocking the game. It seemed like a pretty innocuous comment to me.

underdog said...
Oct 3, 2008, 1:40:00 PM  

It's a traveshamockery.

Chopper Dave said...
Oct 3, 2008, 1:44:00 PM  

Well done, Chopper Dave, well done.

Anonymous said...
Oct 3, 2008, 2:40:00 PM  

I just listened to it, and I interpret that Ron had intended it to be a complement of Manny's ability. However, the comment either caught Tony Gwynn by surprise (that he wasn't prepared to provide analysis) or he thought, at that moment, that Ron was singling out Manny and his ability in a negative light. Gwynn's pause and stuttering before responding is what could cause some to believe Ron was singling out Manny.

Anonymous said...
Oct 3, 2008, 2:45:00 PM  

The real mockery was in Field of Dreams the rookie smiles at the pitcher and the pitcher threw at his head.

Anonymous said...
Oct 3, 2008, 3:05:00 PM  

I think it was a comment. Like Darling was in awe of what Manny could do. But people who want to be negative will always look for the negative. Hey, that's most of us!

Anonymous said...
Oct 3, 2008, 3:49:00 PM  

I am shocked that people can be offended by this. It is obvious that the comment was a positive one. He was basically saying that there are players so much better than others that it becomes a complete joke.

Anonymous said...
Oct 3, 2008, 3:51:00 PM  

I interpreted it as positive too... besides, the last thing baseball needs in my opinion is folks with a "Serious business only or get out" attitude.

Talon Lardner said...
Oct 5, 2008, 1:38:00 AM  

Listen to the manny apologists in this thread...he's the hardest working player in baseball? Since when?

Look, Sox fans, we know he was a key component of winning world series, but don't insult anyone's intelligence and try to compliment his work ethic. There's a reason he's not in Boston anymore.

Oh, one more thing, he's not the reason the Dodgers made the playoffs. Look at the runs per game before and after the trade, and you'll see the same number. The only reason the Dodgers made the postseason is the D'backs fell apart, plain and simple.

Anonymous said...
Oct 6, 2008, 5:07:00 AM  

i thought rd was throwing that out as a compliment to tg, that some hitters make it look so easy like gwynn used to. gwynn was totally buttering up ramirez, saying that he would be a good influence on the younger players, so i didn't think rd was bagging on manny. now when tim mccarver says manny is a disgrace, that is a bit less ambiguous.

Anonymous said...
Oct 8, 2008, 10:42:00 PM  

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