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Manny Ramirez: “we are the working class”

Dec 12, 2011, 8:52 AM EDT

Image (1) Manny%20Ramirez%20Zen.jpg for post 4173

With the large caveat that there is a very good chance Enrique Rojas’ interview with Manny Ramirez was conducted in Spanish and that the translation of it here inadvertently imposes a subtext to his comment that was not at all his intention, I can’t wipe the grin off my face at this comment, offered in response to the question of whether Ramirez would consider playing in Japan if he can’t get a major league deal:

“We are the working class and wherever there is work, you must go work.”

A working class hero is something to be. If you wanna be a hero well just follow Manny. Just forget that he made more than $200 million playing baseball in his career.

My little college hangover commie/class fixation notwithstanding, it’s a good interview in which Manny talks about why he retired rather than serve his suspension last season.  I think he’s crazy if he thinks he’s going to have any major league teams calling him, but being realistic has never been his strong suit. And it hasn’t really hurt him much to be honest.

  1. lembeck4 - Dec 12, 2011 at 9:05 AM

    I expect Mr. Burns and the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant Softball Team to make an aggressive push for Manny.

    • JBerardi - Dec 12, 2011 at 9:51 AM

      Anyone else made to feel old by reading this comment?

      • phukyouk - Dec 12, 2011 at 10:00 AM

        it is the BEST simpsons episode ever… I literally know it word for word

    • bigharold - Dec 12, 2011 at 10:18 AM

      Manny of Mr. Burns softball team, .. yeah sure. Until the first episode of Manny being Manny. Then its; “Release the hounds”!

    • deathmonkey41 - Dec 12, 2011 at 10:51 AM

      Strawberry’s already in left.

      • nyetjones - Dec 12, 2011 at 11:10 PM

        No he isn’t; Homer pinch hit for him. :)

    • Old Gator - Dec 12, 2011 at 12:07 PM


      Arriba, parias de la Tierra.
      En pie, famélica legión.
      Los proletarios gritan: Guerra!
      Guerra hasta el fin de la opresión.

      Borrad el rastro del pasado!
      Arriba, esclavos, todos en pié!
      el mundo va a cambiar de base,
      los nada de hoy todo han de ser.

      Agrupémonos todos,
      en la lucha final.
      El género humano
      es la internacional!

  2. Francisco (FC) - Dec 12, 2011 at 9:11 AM

    Here’s what I found in Spanish: “Cuando el reportero le preguntó a Ramírez si estaría dispuesto a jugar en Japón o cualquier otro lugar fuera de Estados Unidos, dijo: “Somos un obrero y donde quiera que haya trabajo hay que ir a trabajar”.

    If Manny did use the word “obrero”, you can keep the Grin for the next month. That’s just too hilarious. It would have been better to use the word professional. However I don’t seriously think Manny is comparing himself to a factory worker. He’s just expressing the reality that you go where people are willing to give you work, if that means the only offer he gets comes from Japan he’ll take it (in theory). He is not an entrepreneur. He doesn’t own a business like Jimmy Rollins with his share in a record label or Albert Pujols with his restaurants and what not. All he knows is being a professional baseball player and getting paid to play. I think he chose an unfortunate set of words though.

    • manute - Dec 12, 2011 at 9:20 AM

      Well said. In my opinion – based on my limited understanding of the language – the translation is technically accurate, but the spirit of the comment could be something like, “workers work” or “players play.”

      • Francisco (FC) - Dec 12, 2011 at 9:31 AM

        Yeah, though we can’t fault the translation. Manny said what he said, but I still agree that it was simply his choice of words that wasn’t optimal. His intention was to say exactly as you put it.

      • Old Gator - Dec 12, 2011 at 11:47 AM

        So Francisco, never suspected that Manny was a Bolivarian socialist, did you?

        Then again….there had been warnings….

      • Francisco (FC) - Dec 12, 2011 at 12:28 PM

        Well he’s certainly loud mouthed enough for it.

  3. Francisco (FC) - Dec 12, 2011 at 9:14 AM

    With the large caveat that there is a very good chance Enrique Rojas’ interview with Manny Ramirez was conducted in Spanish

    It was. Here’s the link:
    There’s even video. And yeah he used the word “Obrero”. LOL!

  4. Jack Marshall - Dec 12, 2011 at 9:19 AM

    Craig, do you really think Manny comprehends and respects the concept of “honest”? I have seen no evidence of that. He occasionally is candid.

  5. JBerardi - Dec 12, 2011 at 9:21 AM

    I dunno. Is that really such a crazy thing to say? I mean, if Annie Lebowitz said “photographers are the working class”, would her fantastic wealth make that untrue? The vast majority of working photographers are making working class wages, if that. And the vast majority of professional baseball players are making working class wages (not even that, really). People would praise Annie for being aware of the community she came out of despite her high perch in the industry. Of course, I guess the idea that Manny is aware of anything is a bit of a tough sell.

    • phukyouk - Dec 12, 2011 at 9:30 AM

      ” And the vast majority of professional baseball players are making working class wages (not even that, really)”

      Can you explain that? I honestly do not understand if you are trying to say that the vast majority Pro Baseball players make less than the working class wages? If so are you including MLB and Minor players?

      • JBerardi - Dec 12, 2011 at 9:51 AM

        I’m including everyone who gets a paycheck for playing baseball. That not only includes the minors, but indy leagues all over the world. Indy leagues in the US, the Mexican league, the DWL, VWL and tons of other leagues all over central and south America, guys playing in Japan and Korea and Taiwan… The universe of professional baseball is far larger than your average fan of MLB ball imagines. There’s guys playing baseball professionally all year, all around the world. For a most of them the dream isn’t even playing in the majors, it’s just playing in the minors for a major league organization.

      • bigharold - Dec 12, 2011 at 10:38 AM

        “The universe of professional baseball is far larger than your average fan of MLB ball imagines. There’s guys playing baseball professionally all year, all around the world.”

        True enough but we’re talking Manny here. If some lifer minor leaguer or a clubhouse attendant made those comments it would have far more resonance. But, Manny is a 1%er even if you limit the scope to MLB players, .. where the starting salary is over $400K a year.

        I’ll give him a pass because; a. the language barrier, b. he’s never been the sharpest tool in the shed nor the most articulate, c. he’s no longer relevant. Whatever credibility he had went out the window after his 2nd and last failed drug test.

      • JBerardi - Dec 12, 2011 at 12:13 PM

        But he didn’t say “I am the working class”. He said “WE are the working class”. And whatever you think of Manny, that’s objectively true.

      • jofamofn - Dec 12, 2011 at 5:08 PM

        Condemn Manny all you want for his failed drug tests, quirky behavior on/off the field, etc. However, all you losers who don’t know sh-t about Spanish and are trying to make dumb a$$ translations and subsequent interpretations need to check yourselves.

        1. Obrero means “worker” – period. Not working class. And as a professional baseball player he is a worker. He is not management, not the owner.

        2. The use of “we” – somos – is commonly used by athletes in both English and Spanish, as in “we need to make a better play next time”, when referring only to that individual. As illogical as referring to yourself in the third person, but nevertheless done all the time.

        3. Despite that fact that Manny has made however many hundreds of millions over the last 12 years or so, he was born in a modest environment to the “working class” and no doubt is still very connected to it as the majority of his family/friends with whom he grew up probably did not have the good enough fortune to have the particular talent to hit a round object with a piece of wood and get paid ludicrous sums of money for it.

        But, you all will see what you want to see and interpret however best fits into your narratives and preconceived notions.

    • Old Gator - Dec 12, 2011 at 11:48 AM

      Annie Lebowitz was married to Kurt Vonnegut Jr. After that many years with him, she was probably capable of saying anything. The question is how well she learned his wink and nod.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Dec 12, 2011 at 11:50 AM

        Jill Krementz, Gator. Lebowitz was Susan Sontag’s life partner for years.

        HBT: serious business.

      • Old Gator - Dec 12, 2011 at 12:06 PM

        Oy. What time is it? And what did you put in that fucking drink?

      • JBerardi - Dec 12, 2011 at 12:33 PM

        Lebowitz also filed bankruptcy a few years back due to an addiction buying high-priced NYC real estate and $1000 a quart panda milk for her baby. So maybe she’s not the best example here.

      • Old Gator - Dec 12, 2011 at 2:21 PM

        Panda milk?????

      • JBerardi - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:26 PM

        Dan Kellum worked as Leibovitz’s assistant in 2002. Despite the ample help Leibovitz had, Kellum says he felt sorry for her because she was emotionally alone. “There was no one in Annie’s life that could say to her, ‘Relax, the baby’s going to be fine,’ ” he says. Leibovitz’s obsessiveness was reflected in her mothering, Kellum says. When Sarah started eating solid food, a rigorous journaling policy was instituted, in which every bite and bowel movement was to be committed to an unlined black notebook purchased from the Swedish stationer Ordning & Reda. Kellum regularly ordered replacement books from Stockholm so that the journaling could easily continue from one book to another. Once, when an order got lost in customs, Leibovitz insisted on having two notebooks sent from Stockholm via a special type of courier service called “quicking.” It was essentially like buying a seat for a parcel on the next plane. The shipping cost alone came to $800. (Leibovitz also had twin daughters, Samuelle and Susan, born via surrogate and named after her father and Sontag, in 2005.)

        On Friday, October 11, 2002, Kellum was busy coordinating Sarah’s first birthday party, scheduled for the next day in Rhinebeck. The plans included a petting zoo and performances by hipster kiddie singer Dan Zanes and country singer Rosanne Cash, who was being flown in to sing Sarah’s favorite lullaby. Leibovitz was upset because the forecast called for rain; she didn’t want 300 mud-caked guests traipsing through the buildings. Early that afternoon, Kellum had answered his phone to hear the panicked voice of Mark Zeff, the Greenwich Village project’s designer. Something had happened at the construction site.

        Alright, so no panda milk, just Rosanne Cash and $800 Swedish stationary. Maybe it’s Jay Maisel who’s drinking the panda milk, although that fucker can actually afford it.

  6. Jonny 5 - Dec 12, 2011 at 9:26 AM

    And I thought the baseball wives were starving for attention…. He’s so dead set against being yesterday’s news, he’s willing to embarrass himself even further, just to remain today’s news. Or so it seems. Manny, if you really are of the working class, i’ll give you a job. I have 4 more trees in my back yard that need to be cut down and hauled off (I already took care of around 12 myself). I’ll pay you 50 bucks per tree. I know it isn’t much, but I am working class and if you want any more money than that I’ll just do it myself.

    • Old Gator - Dec 12, 2011 at 11:50 AM

      I was actually going to remove from my yard a mamey sapote tree that hasn’t given me any fruit in nine years. Assuming Manny doesn’t quite on you after he cuts up and bags the first two, why don’t you send him over here when he’s finished.

  7. hooks024 - Dec 12, 2011 at 9:28 AM

    He’s going to green bay for brett farve straight up.

    • Francisco (FC) - Dec 12, 2011 at 9:33 AM

      Brett Farve left Green Bay quite some time ago ! Then again this is a baseball blog, you’re forgiven for not paying close attention to Football. In fact you should be praised!

  8. bobwsc - Dec 12, 2011 at 10:21 AM

    can’t rule out Dan Duquette from calling

  9. deathmonkey41 - Dec 12, 2011 at 10:54 AM

    Manny’s an azzclown. He’s nothing more than a cheater who has been caught multiple times and elected to walk out on his team rather than admit to cheating the game. As least his bash brother in Boston tried to explain it away as tainted milkshakes. And people say Alex Rodriguez has no integrity.

  10. jayrandle - Dec 12, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    So Manny Ramirez is part of the 99%?

  11. cintiphil - Dec 12, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    I change my mind. Yes, someone may offer to give him a try, but I hope no one does.

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