Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hoping for Manny Happy Returns

There was bad news in the Baltimore sports world yesterday as Orioles 3rd base phenom Manny Machado suffered a serious knee injury during an afternoon game.  Manny was running out a ground ball when he stepped on the edge of first base, twisted his knee and fell to the ground in a heap, clutching his knee.

I didn't know anything about it until I got an email from Sitcom Kelly last night, asking me if I’d seen it.  It didn't take me long to find something online, and I kinda wish I hadn't.  The article was preliminary, because they won’t know anything concrete until they can get an MRI, but I've seen enough torn ACLs and MCLs to know that this is a bad one.  The link above contains a video, if you’d like to see for yourself.  It’s not that it’s gruesome… I've seen worse, like years ago when Pirates catcher Jason Kendall broke his ankle on a similar play at first base.  But Manny’s knee got a pretty good twist.

I feel so bad for the kid… and he IS still a kid.  He just turned 21 this summer, in the midst of turning major league baseball on its ear.
Manny Machado  (Source)
I don’t think I've ever seen a player make so many head-turning plays in the field as Manny has.  I read that he’s had more plays on ESPN’s Web Gems highlights than anyone else, by far.  And this is Baltimore, home of Brooks Robinson, who may have been the best fielding 3rd baseman of all time.  People here know from talent at the hot corner, and this guy is king right now.  (Just check YouTube for Machado highlights.)

Manny’s joining the team late last year was the single biggest component of turning the club into a winning team.  The Orioles now hold the best fielding percentage in the league and are on pace to crush the record for least amount of team errors.

It’s such a shame, not just because of on-field issues, but he’s a genuinely good kid!  His teammates love him, he studies hard, reveres his elders, keeps his mouth shut and does his job with grace and humility.

Obviously he’s done for this season.  I just hope he can come back before the end of next season. 

So between Manny’s injury and the horrific season my Steelers are having so far, (they’ll be lucky to go 4-12), it hasn't been a very rewarding Fall thus far.  But leave it to the Ratbirds to put a smile back on my face.

Did you hear about Raven’s wide receiver, Super Bowl star, and Dancing with the Stars 3rd place winner Jacoby Jones?  Last night, he was with teammates on a “stripper bus” in Washington DC, celebrating lineman Bryant McKinnie’s birthday, a stripper named “Sweet Pea” clonked him on the head with a giant champagne bottle and ignited a brawl.

He was apparently bloodied up pretty well, but was none the worse for wear, and refused medical treatment.  When the police asked him how he got hurt, he said, “I don’t know.”

Hah!  As if you could possibly forget when a stripper hits you with a bottle of bubbly.

See the size of that bottle?  It looks like a prop from a liquor store window.  And that’s with a 6’8”, 350-pound guy holding it!

You can find more pictures of the people involved by clicking here, as well as some more salacious coverage.

But what I want to know is what did Jacoby do to earn Sweet Pea’s wrath?  Is there some kind of protocol for stripper buses?  Did he bogart the giant champagne bottle?  Not wipe off the top after he was done?  Backwash?  Or maybe he said she danced like a white girl.

Ray Lewis chipped in on ESPN, saying he thinks the incident is due to a void in leadership on the team.

Great, Ray.  Way to bring yourself into the story.  You leave the team and now there’s a leadership crisis.  I guess “leadership” is what Ray learned after his Super Bowl party guests killed a couple of guys.  That’s what you find in jail; either leadership or the Lord.

Late Update: Sweet Pea tweeted that she’s not a stripper; she’s a waitress.  They were all waitresses on that bus.  My take: Sweet Pea’s mom just found out what she does for a living.

Even Later Update: Manny is going to be OK.  The MRI revealed that he tore a small ligament behind his kneecap, and not the much more crucial ACL or MCL.  In all probability, he won't need surgery and will be ready for spring training next year.  My take: All that angst and hand-wringing for nothing.  But I'm thankful for the happy ending.


  1. Oh those dirty Ratbirds. Lol... you're loving this aren't you? And it doesn't surprise me at all that Ray-Ray would insert himself into this somehow. Arrogant s.o.b...

    That Machado injury was brutal to watch. Hopefully he can make a full recovery. Kid's a hell of a player.

  2. It cracks me up. I'm always happy when the Ratbird PR train runs off the rails. Gives me some ammunition for when I take incoming fire about my boys' lousy season.

    The Manny thing? Just terrible. I feel so bad for the kid. And 2 inches either way on where he steps spells the difference between a non event and a tragedy.

  3. I was happy to hear that it wasn't Manny's ACL. They are saying he will run again in 6-8 weeks. I'm just hoping it doesn't affect his ability to play the same at 3rd. Time will tell.

    Oh Ray. Yeah, I agree (and as a RAVENS fan!) that he needs to step back. He retired from the team, he has a job as a professional sports analyst for ESPN, and he is still unnecessarily jumping in. Like when he ran along beside Doss during that punt return. I mean, come on. He can be happy for him and talk to him personally later, congratulating him on a good play, but the public show of fandom? No Ray. Not professional. Stop it.

    Yes, I did just go on an anti-former Raven rant on your blog. I know I just made your day.

    But I have no comment on the Jacoby Jones thing. I'm not getting into that mess.

    1. Mike Preston had a good column in the Baltimore Sun today talking about how Ray needs to step back and shut up about what the Ravens need now that he’s gone. He went on to point out about a half dozen player revolts, snits and insurrections that happened during the course of his “leadership,” therefore he has no room to point fingers at anyone else.

      Also, you never saw Hines running down the sideline once he retired…

      Other than that, I have no real issue with Stripper Bus-gate. I just think it’s funny. I love the unrest it creates. They’re grown-ass men and can celebrate a birthday any way they want. They just need to make sure it never becomes “news.” If I were the coach, I’d put a sign up in the locker room about off-field behavior that says, ‘If you’re news, you lose.”

  4. Ray's comment was code for "If I was there, ain't nobody woulda found that champagne bottle!"

    And I'm surprised that Sweet Pea's mother was upset to find out that her daughter was a "waitress." (finger quotes)

    1. That’s right! Ray’s field of leadership expertise is disappearing the evidence. Now that he’s chipped in with some advice, let’s see if anyone misdirects the police, before rolling over on those involved.

  5. Of course Sweet Pea's not a stripper. She's a waitress, she's a dancer, she's a model... but she's definitely not a stripper...

    1. Right… strip clubs are loaded with waitress/dancer/models… oh, and “actresses.”


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