Oh, to be one of those Johnny-come-lately types who only knows championships and winning. That's not I.
Having started watching the Sox around 1961, I never had the privilege of watching Ted Williams, but he occasionally failed to run out the odd groundball, and heard the raspberries. Yaz, architect of the Impossible Dream, also sinned against the baseball gods, and caught the wrath of the fans. Jim Rice wasn't the smoothest left-fielder, but learned the wall, and in addition to being a feared slugger, grounded into too many double plays. Boo! Mike Greenwell had a brief shining career, and a longer one of mediocrity. Now we have Manny.
How much passion is enough? At times, Manny makes dynamic catches, and his twelve outfield assists aren't enough. But you can't put up numbers on the bench, and how can't Terry Francona feel 'torqued off' by Manny. Obviously, Manny is a sensitive guy, and he's good with the younger players, and most of the fans recognize the man can flat out hit. The Sox knew what they were getting when they brought the elephant to the party, hoping their fence would get knocked down. Now they reap what they sow.
L'affaire ROOTS (Royal Order of The Splinter) only answers to 'saving face'. Manny played hookey, and can best extricate himself, Terry Francona, the team, and management with a simple apology. I truly believe that he was tired, and wanted a day off. Hell, I'm tired and want a day off. A true professional works through it, 'sucking it up', but who among us doesn't have some shortcomings. Yeah, we don't make twenty million, but sometimes we forget to show up for an event, or don't pay a bill on time, or don't tell our wife and kids that we love them often enough. It's never enough. Honestly.
Manny doesn't have to kiss anybody's butt here. A simple 'I am truly sorry and will try to do better,' is enough. Play ball.