Oh Manny, say it ain’t so

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By Ralph Damiani

Gov. Richardson described last Tuesday’s Isotopes game featuring Manny Ramirez as one of the most important events in New Mexico history.

Really? So much for the Manhattan Project and Roswell in 1947.

But in a way it was hard to argue with him. There was a record crowd of more than 15,000 people there at Isotopes Park. And before the three days were up, more than 45,000 people showed up at the park.

Fans lined the walkway from the clubhouse as Ramirez entered the field Tuesday evening. They gathered near the dugout, clustering for autographs, seemingly ready to forgive Ramirez for violating baseball’s drug rules.

Ramirez, easing back into playing shape after a 50-game drug suspension, played four innings and was hitless in two at-bats.

And here is where the dilemma comes into play. Where does one draw the line with forgivness or saying that you should not reward bad behavior?

The vast majority of those who crowded into the stadium for three days this week seemed to have only forgiveness on their minds.

According to reports there were a few scattered boos before Ramirez batted leading-off but cheers began before he was introduced and grew louder when he approached the plate.

Predictably, he would not talk about steroids. Why should he? He gains nothing now.

There was more anger when he did not play Thursday, disappointing the 15,000 folks that once again came to the field to see him play.

But they were wrong as he owes the fans in the Duke City nothing, he only owes things to himself. And that is not all bad.

If we try to please everyone, we please no one. And Manny was right here to please himself. And his was in character.

He did not think of anyone else when he used steroids and he did not think of anyone else when he did not play.

This is simply another case of Manny being Manny. But it is not all that uncommon in the sports and entertainment fields.

So being upset at Ramirez being silent, or just leaving the building or making himself scarce in the clubhouse belies the fact that you can’t have it both ways.

If you forgive him for his selfishness with the drug use, then you have to forgive him for his behavior here. In both cases he was consistent with Manny being Manny.

• • •

Well, since I love useless knowledge and facts, here is another one. At five minutes and six seconds after 4 a.m. on Wednesday, the time and date will be: 4:5:6 7/8/9.

Now you can rest well knowing this.

• • •

Just in case you think our Legislature is sitting on its hands, here is a list of all the new laws it passed this last session and which took effect July 1.

There are 55 of them.  

The new laws include the abolishment of the death penalty, increased penalties for drunk driving and auto theft and tougher domestic violence laws.

 Here are a few of them.

Abolish Death Penalty (HB 285)

The death penalty has been abolished in New Mexico and has been replaced with life in prison without the possibility of parole.  


Interlocks and DWI License Reinstatement (SB 275)

DWI offenders will now be required to complete their court ordered mandate or six months of ignition interlock prior to getting their full driver’s license privileges back.   


Motor Vehicle Theft and Embezzlement (HB 31 & SB 26)

Under the new auto theft law, stealing or receiving a stolen car can mean up to 9 years in prison; current law only calls for 1 year.  Stealing a car that costs more than $20,000 – is now a 2nd degree felony.  Repeat offenses will lead to stiffer penalties and there are now tougher penalties for embezzlement and chop shops.


Employment Rights for Domestic Abuse Victims (SB 68)

Requires employers to give leave to employees who are domestic abuse victims to meet with law enforcement, attorneys and attend court hearings without risking losing their jobs.


Revise Crime of Stalking (SB 166)

Broadens the language in the current stalking law to include cyber stalking and other technological methods of stalking.

I wish there was room to go into all of them, it’s quite interesting. Oh well.