With the Dodgers apparently en route to the NL West title and the postseason, everything seems hunky-dory in Los Angeles with Manny Ramirez, his teammates and the Chavez Ravine faithful dressed in blue.
But leave it to Curt Schilling to insert himself into the situation by issuing a warning that there will be a price to pay once "Manny being Manny" becomes not a Dodger Stadium marketing tool but a hindrance in the clubhouse.
Apparently not content to let things lie, Schilling took a break from holding hands with Cindy McCain on the campaign trail to call into a Boston sports talk station from his car and then bash Man-Ram six ways from Santa Monica, saying that Ramirez's disrespect for teammates was "unfathomable." (Listen here)
A sampling of Schilling's comments, via the Providence Journal:
• "I'm totally convinced [Ramirez was going to claim he was injured and] play half the games the rest of the year. And he made it clear he didn't want to play. We've all seen what Manny does when Manny doesn't want to play. "
• "The day he realized that they were not going to sign him to an extension was the day he said, 'Uncle. I'm done.'"
• "Nothing makes a guy that respects the game and respects human beings like Terry Francona feel worse than looking at a guy and saying, 'Go ahead, [mess] with me, [mess] with your teammates, I'll put you in the lineup,' and then turn around to a guy who's there every day early working his [butt] off who gets 110 at-bats a year and saying, 'You know what? Yeah, I can't put you in there tonight,'"
• "There were times when you had players who were on like fire duty, 'Show up tomorrow, I'm not sure if you're playing or not, we've gotta find out what [Manny] wants to do.' That's not fair to anybody."
• "It's the life that we lived every day, and even if we told people the truth, they still wouldn't believe it. What [the public hears and sees] is 10 to 20 percent of what went on."
• "The fact of the matter was, you looked at a guy who, at the end of the day, when you look back on the history, never, ever cared about any of us."
While Schilling has some very salient points and is absolutely right that no teammate should ever treat another in that fashion, I still can't stop thinking that his airing of these feelings now — with Manny all the way on the other side of the country — redefines the word petty.
After all, as best I can remember, Schilling never said a word about Manny when he was backing up Schilling with run support and helping the Red Sox to two World Series titles in four years. And, really, why break the "clubhouse code" that Schilling mentioned at the beginning of the interview when the problem has been excised and everyone else, Manny included, are busying themselves by moving on?
I guess that's just Curt being Curt.