This is the shorter version of a blog that was cruelly struck down by the computer gods when I was typing it up.
There is a double standard for sports superstars and how they are treated in the media. This annoys me, especially when ESPN and other media outlets treat some guys like folk heroes for their faults and lambaste others for theirs. I am specifically thinking of Manny Ramirez and "Manny being Manny."
After Manny caught a fly ball in LF and high-fived a Red Sox fan at Camden Yards, ESPN laughed it off and went on to put together a three minute clip reel of "Manny being Manny." It was basically a gag reel of various fielding errors, base-running mistakes, and mental lapses (like forgetting how many outs are left). The Baseball Night crew though it was great. It's just Manny being Manny. I think the only guy who didn't get a kick out of it was Buck Showalter. Oddly enough, he's also the guy on the show who has had to manage players and thusly been at the mercy of management and ownership when superstars screw up.
I know it's a crazy pipe dream, but I wish superstars got the same media treatment. I know he hits a lot of home runs and has a colorful personality, but it aggravates me that the biggest sports media outlet in the world idolizes this guy's antics and mistakes. They see it all as part of the price of admission. But if Freddy Bynum throws the ball ten feet left of first base on a routine grounder, it's not Freddy being Freddy. If Ramon Hernandez drops a popup into foul territory that lets David Ortiz get two more swings, it's not Ramon being Ramon. This is just one example of the double standard present in sports coverage.
I understand all the reasons why this happens. The Sox are a big market team. They're winners. ESPN is headquartered in NE. Manny is a superstar and future Hall of Famer. I just wishing it didn't happen. It's kind of like wishing for world peace; it's a nice thought, but completely impractical.