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Manny Ramirez story in The New Yorker

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Double Down, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    Thought this would be interesting to post and compare to the story John Garrity wrote about Tiger in SI two weeks ago.

    Ben McGrath also got only 10 minutes with Manny, and uses the first person throughout the article.

    Some of the anecdotes in here have been recycled, but I thought it was well done.

  2. Orange Hat Bobcat

    Orange Hat Bobcat Active Member

    I have neither received the new issue nor read the story (of course, my mailman sucks so I still haven't received last week's TNY), but the New Yorker often utilizes the first person all over the magazine, so that isn't too surprising.

    I do often enjoy their sports features, though, so this one should be good. The Tiki Barber piece a few months back was very good. A Shaq feature from a few years ago stands out, too.
  3. Good read, and a refreshing one, at that, since all the Boston media seems able and/or willing to do is rehash the same tired storylines about Manny, but an outsider actually did a little legwork and told us more about Manny in seven pages than the Globe/Herald types have come up with in seven years.
  4. yeah, strong piece

    long but very readable
  5. Boobie Miles

    Boobie Miles Active Member

    Interesting read, but seemed like after 6,500 words he couldn't come up with a way to end it. Anyone else think it just sort of ends?
  6. I hear you, Boobie. I don't think there was really a beginning, middle and end to the storyline, just a lot of funny anecdotes. But that's OK. I really liked it, especially the anecdote about his favorite at-bat song (I won't spoil it).

    I also liked the Tiki Barber story. I think there's a real art to a non-sports publication doing a sports profile like these. They're usually about sports personalities, emphasis on the word "personalities," but they have to be written in such a way that non-sports people and sports people can enjoy them.

    A lot of times, I've read sports profiles like these in other publications that seem pretty fawning and artificial.
  7. KnuteRockne

    KnuteRockne Member

    I like the use of first-person in The New Yorker. It's way better than "a reporter," which is just awkward. Seems more honest. Plus, it's an acknowledgement that the writer is a human being with limitations, not an all-knowing psychologist/mind reader who knows what the subject is thinking.
  8. thebiglead

    thebiglead Member

    Enjoyed it.

    Still, i think for sports profiles, the gold standard at the magazine may just be OJ Simpson.

    July 9, 2001. It's in nexis.

    Choice clips (sorry for the length, but they're pretty amazing)

    Galanter had directed me not to ask Simpson about Nicole Brown's murder, but Simpson repeatedly brought up the topic. "The press created this guy who was hurting because his wife left him," he said, still spinning his story, seven years after the chase in the white Bronco. "That's bullshit! It was Nicole who wanted to come back to me after the divorce. She stalked me! Trust me. She'd send home cookies with the kids, and once she showed up at my house with a tape of our wedding and began to cry. 'Please, O.J.! I wanna come home!'"

    We turned the corner and drove down a residential street. Housewives in spandex shorts were jogging on the sidewalk. Simpson glanced at them and said, "I loved the way Nicole looked. If I saw her on that sidewalk right now, I'd pull over and hit on her. If she had a different head."

    His life in Los Angeles was not without incident, however. "Once someone keyed my car," Simpson said. "But when I was incarcerated I read the Koran, which said everyone goes through some ordeal, everyone's persecuted and overcomes it. I still had friends who wanted me to play golf at the Riviera Country Club, but I didn't want to bring any controversy there. One time, on another course, a helicopter followed us on the fairway and I hid under a tree. And another time this big ol' guy calls out to me, 'You're a murderer!' I said, 'You've got a right to your opinion.' He said, 'You better watch out, there are snipers on this course.' I said, 'I hope they can't shoot straight.' Then he calls me an asshole, and I threw my clubs down and came up on him fast, looking for leverage so I can fuck him up a little bit, my face real close to his, spittin' in his face while I'm sayin' to him, 'You call me a fuckin' murderer, I got to live with that, but "asshole"-come on, let's get it on.' He backs down. And now I'm a hero to all the little old ladies on the course, who thought I handled it great."

    Simpson, Galanter, and I drove to the Calusa Country Club, a public course, in Kendall. "I told ya, now I get hugs," Simpson said. "At the Holyfield fight in Vegas I got all the play." He grinned. "The tabloids were saying I was the reigning King of Porn. That I had sex with two girls four times each in two and a half hours. If I could do that I'd be in a porn film! A guy fifty-three. But I ain't need no Viagra yet. Thank God it's still there." Then, flashing his O.J. grin, he repeated an old joke. "I met this girl once and she tells me she only dates guys with ten inches. I said, 'Baby, I ain't cuttin' off two inches for no one.' "
  9. Liked the story but agreed it really had no ending.
  10. Boobie Miles

    Boobie Miles Active Member

    Especially the way he held anything from Manny out of it until that last paragraph I was really expecting a big payoff that just wasn't there.

    As for OJ, gotta love that he's more offended being called an asshole than a murderer.
  11. Herbert Anchovy

    Herbert Anchovy Active Member

    Ben McGrath is very good, and a standup guy too.
  12. Orange Hat Bobcat

    Orange Hat Bobcat Active Member

    Nice O.J. excerpts. I'll have to go back and read that one.

    As for Manny, yeah, it wanders all over the place. But I think that's what McGrath intended. Manny is a wanderer and not a lot of folks know a lot about him. Francona knows what he sees in the clubhouse and on the field. The owners don't know a whole heck of a lot, they just inherited Ramirez. Ocker knows what he saw in Cleveland seven years ago. Tavarez might know the most outside of Ramirez's family. I think the structure of the story was meant to reflect Ramirez as a person, that the reader was supposed to be left with this rambling ball of stories because that's what Manny is.

    And because The New Yorker is literary like that. (Gotta have something to analyze, right?)
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