Tuesday, February 27, 2007

At 125 RBI, There Are No Rules

Stars have privileges others do not. This has been true of every organization in human history. Non-stars don't often care for this practice, and grouse in private. While building the Pyramids, some diligent slave laid twice as many stones as his peers and got a double ration of gruel each night. All the other slaves hated his guts.

Stories about Manny Ramirez getting special treatment from the Red Sox, complete with assertions this grates on his Red Sox teammates, are like reading the Atlantic Ocean is cold and wet. Tell is something we don't know, gang. As all the Sox had the honesty to admit, Ramirez earns such treatment. Their resentment is both fed and muted by how much they need him. The only thing "enabling" Ramirez to get away with un-Chip Hiltonesque behavior is his bat.

I wonder, however, if Manny's critics realize they're in the same situation. Globe and Herald columnists have privileges the gang on the agate desk do not. I oughta know. Even if you work hard not to abuse them, the privileges are there, and no one can go without occasionally using them. That's human nature. Same goes for the on-air talent at WEEI. I'm sure there are ad salesmen there who resent them bitterly for their salaries and work load. It's not anybody's fault. It's the system of life.

Commentators must call 'em as they see 'em. But those ripping a star for getting away with murder ought to at least tinge their call with some ambivalence and self-awareness.


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