Great article by Peter Gammons (as usual), on Manny and the circus he constantly is the star of. In the past, before the blog and most recently in the blog, I've always defended Manny and his charades. But, there are a lot of new, surprising things Gammons writes that I didn't know.
The most shocking being that he's been unable to play mainly against big-time opposing pitchers, namely: "Joba Chamberlain (twice), Felix Hernandez (twice), Edinson Volquez, Justin Verlander." This is something I find seriously disturbing. I don't care that he wants some absurd contract and is selfish, because let's be honest you find that all over in sports. However, avoiding specific pitchers is simply unacceptable. How you can alienate your teammates and responsibilities is beyond me.
Manny has always been a phenomenal player and this has masked the off-field distractions very nicely. But, I don't know how the clubhouse is dealing with this. Something like this could easily cause a terrible rift on a team that is contending for another World Series championship. Chemistry is an x-factor that you always talk about with the best teams and always seems to be a problem with underachieving ones. The '04 Red Sox had this with Manny then, but I don't know if that can happen again with Manny now.
This should be a very interesting situation to keep an eye on down the stretch. Which shouldn't be difficult because it will be all over ESPN whether you like it or not.