As he walked around the clubhouse before yesterday’s game against the Chicago White Sox, Manny Ramirez had a big ice pack wrapped around his right knee. However, astute reporters noted that Ramirez, as he limped around, was actually favoring his left knee. “Hey Manny,” a reporter asked, “which knee is the sore one?” Ramirez froze for a moment. “It’s my…uh,” he looked down, and noted the ice pack, “my right knee, man. Can’t you see that?” Then why was he limping on his left knee? Ramirez, now favoring his right knee, walked haughtily out of the clubhouse. “This is why I never want to talk to you guys, man. Can’t a guy just have a sore knee without all these questions about which knee it is?”
Terry Francona, who has actively campaigned for weeks to keep Manny from playing in the all-star game in order to rest the knee, has finally gotten his wish, as Major League Baseball recently acquiesced and dismissed Ramirez. “I noticed a while back he was scufflin’ a lil’ bit,” Francona said vaguely during a recent press conference. “I want him resting that knee during those three days.” What exactly is the injury? “Well, heck, fellas, I’m not a doctor,” he said, fidgeting nervously. “I would call it a weakened knee. Why don’t we say that? Or, even better, a strained knee. Yes, I like that! Manny is suffering from a strained knee.” When informed that Manny seemed confused about which knee was injured, Francona was incredulous. “Ah, c’mon,” he guffawed. “You’re talking about a guy who still can’t remember how to get to Fenway Park. He forgets his wife’s name, for gosh sakes, calls her ‘that girl’ sometimes. But he knows what pain is, and he knows which knee is injured.”
Francona, anticipating the next question, began quickly flipping through some notes. “Which knee is injured, Terry?” he was asked. “Of course it’s the…” Francona began, frantically flipping through the pages, “hang with me a second fellas, I’ll be right with you…left, no, right knee! And, I’m just remembering the new team philosophy on revealing injuries, so at this time let me retract my earlier statement about Manny having a strained knee. I can only confirm that he has a knee, and that it’s hurt.” Francona then waved to Ramirez, who, to the amazement of the befuddled media--and horror of Francona--walked by with a heavily wrapped bandage on his left knee.
Later, the Red Sox issued a clarifying press release. “Due to the pain in Manny Ramirez’s knee, he has at times been severely confused, confusion being a problem that has actually plagued him many times in his career and which we lovingly refer to as 'Manny being Manny.' Please be advised that the Red Sox officially state that Manny is suffering from a ‘tired’ right knee, and will miss the all-star game. In order to avoid any more communication issues regarding the injury, the entire Red Sox organization will have no further comment on this matter.
“Darn it all,” said a frustrated Francona. “Weakened, strained…I almost called it right.”