4:10 PM, Jul 28, 2008 • By DEAN BARNETT
The former treasury secretary and erstwhile president of the World's Greatest University takes dead aim at the rescue plan that has "saved" Fannie and Freddie, at least for the moment:
Some people think Fannie and Freddie are an election issue. Those people couldn't be more wrong. Fannie and Freddie are a bipartisan disgrace, and even for the handful of Republicans like Richard Shelby and Jim DeMint who find themselves on the side of the angels here, the issue is too complex to make any real political hay. All in all, the Fannie and Freddie debacle is a dispiriting case study in how our present leadership class isn't up its responsibilities.
For eight years, weary Red Sox fans have put up with Manny Ramirez's shtick. The guy can hit, but he's arguably the most frustrating player in the history of the Red Sox franchise. Now that Manny is getting older and his production is slipping, his antics are becoming increasingly untenable. At the end of last week, Ramirez sidelined himself with a fantasy knee injury. The injury just happened to coincide with Manny publicly expressing his frustration over his contract status. Writes Shaughnessy:
Manny is an enormous irritant - no question. But one of the reasons the Red Sox have been so successful in recent years is they've looked to maximize a player's strengths while overlooking or at least managing his weaknesses. Manny's style is an affront to every Red Sox fan who thinks a guy who gets paid $20 million a year should care about his job. Not everyone can hustle like Pete Rose did, but for that kind of money the Red Sox should at least get a modicum of professionalism in return.
But don't look for the Sox to cut off their nose to spite their face. They need Manny's production if they're going to win their third title in five years. This will be Manny's final year in Boston. The Sox won't spend $20 million next year on an aging slugger/clubhouse headache. But someday from a distance, the Manny Ramirez era will look like a beautiful thing. He may be the biggest pain the neck ever, but he's also one of the best hitters ever. Sadly, there's no substitute for talent. Happily, the preceding won't come as news to the Red sox savvy management team.