|Manny the miser
Say what you want about steroids, but I think this kind of thing speaks much more loudly about Manny's character:
Joe Martinez, who pitched a rehab assignment for the San Jose Giants on Tuesday, made sure his temporary teammates ate well following Monday's game at John Thurman Field by paying for the post-game spread. It's not just a nice gesture, but it's one of the great traditions of minor league baseball. Whenever a major league player comes down to play in the minors for any reason, the player buys the post-game spread. It's both appreciated and expected.
Martinez, a big league pitcher for the first time this season for all of three days before getting hit by a line drive, makes the major league minimum of $400,000 and didn't think twice about reaching into his own pocket.
The above story is significant only because Manny Ramirez, in five minor league games split between Albuquerque and Inland Empire (San Bernardino) chose not to buy the spread for either his Isotopes or 66ers teammates. The above tidbit came in the form of a rumor spread among visiting scouts Monday night at John Thurman Field and confirmed Tuesday by a member of the Inland Empire front office staff.
Home Run Derby fills out the story nicely with multiple examples of big leaguers -- even guys who are considered surly, like Clemens and Randy Johnson -- going all-out to make life a little bit nicer for their hand-to-mouth minor league teammates during rehab assignments. No, Manny shouldn't have been expected to buy leather furniture like Clemens did when he rehabbed or a tricked-out bus like Michael Jordan did when he played in Birmingham, but you'd think at least he'd take the guys out for a steak or something.
(links via BTF)