As my fiancée and I were filling out paperwork to get a marriage license today, just around 3:58 in the afternoon, the front offices in Boston, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh were doing something similar -- shuffling sheets filled with stats and dollar figures and sending them off in flurries of transcontinental faxing.
The Red Sox were ending a marriage. It lasted seven and a half seasons. It sure did have its moments. And looking back on it now, in the immediate aftermath of the divorce, it's almost headspinning how fast it all unravelled.
Sure we'd had a lot of rough patches. They usually came around this time of year. But it wasn't that long ago at all that everything seemed totally hunky dory. This spring, Manny Ramirez was feeling groovy and talkative. Zen-like. He smiled a lot. He seemed mellow and more mature. He hit his 500th homer and we all went nuts. He said he loved us. He said he wanted to stay with us forever. Why not 600?! "I'm going to finish my career here," he said. And the hits kept coming.
But, almost before anyone realized what was happening, it all started to spin out of control. A couple ugly incidents of domestic violence. Angry and inflammatory words. One event after another, following in ever-quickening sucession.
And then, just like that, it was over.
He was awe-inspiring. He was endlessly entertaining. He was damn infuriating. And he will be missed.
But this is how baseball works.
It's still really, really weird to see him Photoshopped into that Dodger-blue uniform.
Joe Torre managing Nomar Garciaparra, Derek Lowe, and Manny Ramirez. Baseball really is a funny game.