April 12, 2011
On Monday, the Tampa Bay Rays outfielder met with his old media pals at Fenway Park. As usual, Damon was eager to please with a good quote and he didn't disappoint when asked about Manny Ramirez's(notes) abrupt departure from baseball last week.
Likening Manny's "See you in Chicago" message to a scene from a terrible Mark Wahlberg movie, followed by an unintended inference that Manny is now wearing white and plucking a harp from behind the pearly gates?
"You know how in the movie 'Rock Star' Mark Wahlberg walks off the stage and says I got to (go to the bathroom) and never comes back?" Damon asked. "I had no reason to think it, but I just knew that I wasn't going to see him again.
"Manny's in a better place now."
While we would all generally agree that a mega-trip to Spain beats spending a summer digging through Tropicana Field's sofas for $2 million, that last line was just a wee bit awkward. "A better place," to use the parlance of our times, usually means someone has advanced to the great beyond. Unless Damon knows something we don't, Manny has only advanced to a post-baseball career of either reality shows or Salinger-type reclusion. (It has to be one or the other, right?)
OK, so I'm just poking fun. We all know that Damon means well and he's doing a great job of being Tampa Bay's senior ambassador now after Ramirez left him in the lurch. Starting 2-8 with the Rays can't be how Damon envisioned things going, but he's been unfailingly upbeat and positive in every press conference I've seen since last Friday.
Plus, it looks like he has a great shot at being a sports blogger once his career is over.
That Rock Star reference was Bill Simmons-type gold.
Big BLS H/N: @suss2hyphens