John Kruk, who is a MENSA-level genius, has this to say about Manny Ramirez:When is this guy going to be held responsible for his actions? I understand that sometimes a star player gets special treatment, but this is supposed to be a team game in which every player is responsible for his team and he doesn't seem to understand or care. He just goes about his business without any fear of reprisal from management or his teammates and that's not right. When I played, there was no way I could have gotten away with this type of behavior, and neither could anyone else on the team.
John Kruk has mounted his horse, and he is going to ride it all the way to Indignationville! Because Manny Ramirez is not being a professional, and John Kruk has some words for him, by gum! This would have never stood in John Kruk's day. For example, John Kruk played on the 1993 Phillies. If Manny Ramirez tried any of this nonsense on the 1993 Phillies, someone would have held his feet to the fire. If Manny tried this B.S. on the 1993 Phillies, Lenny Dykstra would have taken the hypodermic needle out of his ass and marched right over to Manny and said, "Hey! Be a professional!" Dykstra's words might have carried some respect, since -- totally coincidentally -- he was in the midst of a year where he set statistically improbable personal highs in every major offensive category. (He was working really hard in the weight room, I guess.) Also, Dykstra's words may have carried respect because his sheer physical size had exploded so much in so short a time that one of the Phillies announcers took to calling him "Lenny Kruk" when he came to the plate.
But if Dykstra had approached Manny, things might have gotten heated. So heated, that maybe Jeff Scott, the convicted felon who, in a sworn affidavit, said that he "hug out with about half" of the 1993 Phillies, providing them with drugs, would have had to come over and break things up. Maybe Kruk could have pulled Dykstra aside and given him a cigarette, since the two of them used to smoke cigarettes on the bench -- in full view of the fans -- during games. Or maybe they could have just done a line of coke, as dozens of whispered reports suggested they did all the time.
Or maybe Pete Incaviglia, who hit 11 HR in 1991 and 1992, but who hit a mysterious 24 in 1993, would have stepped in and restored some professionalism to the clubhouse. Or Danny Jackson, the pitcher (pitcher!) who was nicknamed "The Incredible Hulk" because of how muscular he was, could have knocked some professionalism into Manny. If not, surely Dutch Daulton, who had 105 RBI in 1993 but never played in more than 98 games in any subsequent season due to a series of injuries (he was only 31 in 1993; maybe the injuries were the result of eating too many Froot Loops?), and who was beloved for what amounted to erratic and bizarre behavior, would have gone up to Manny and said, "Settle down. Act properly."
Or, wait -- I know what would have happened if Manny had acted unprofessionally in John Kruk's era. Lenny Dykstra's best friend, who allegedly helped him bet on baseball games, including those of the self-same 1993 Phillies, could have talked some sense into Manny over the phone, after taking Dykstra's wager on that afternoon's Twins-Brewers game. That would have worked. Maybe Dykstra, the notorious high-stakes gambler, who was linked to a gambling probe in Mississippi in 1991, could have helped matters by telling Manny that he, Dykstra, would bet heavily on Ramirez for the rest of the year in order to give Manny an incentive to play. And Kruk could have backed him up. After all, Kruk probably felt like he owed Dykstra some support, since a few months after Dykstra was linked to gambling on baseball, Dykstra broke his collarbone in a car wreck after John Kruk's bachelor party and missed several months of the season.
So, go get 'em, Krukie! Don't let these modern-day weirdos sully the reputation of your straight-arrow, play-the-right-way 1993 Phillies. You guys were the model for baseball player behavior. Is it possible that all of this is simply conjecture? That everyone on your team, more or less, had statistically improbably great years? That no one on the Phillies was using steroids or gambling on baseball or doing drugs or anything? Absolutely. And I will bet everything I own in the world that some of you were doing some combination of using steroids and drugs and gambling on baseball.
Think I'm being unfair? Think it's wrong to bring all this stuff up when you are accusing Manny of a different crime? Well, you did say, and I quote, "this is supposed to be a team game in which every player is responsible for his team. He just goes about his business without any fear of reprisal from management or his teammates and that's not right."
So, way to call out your guys for everything they did back in the day. Let's see how you did that: (from cantstopthebleeding.com)“Let me tell you, we partied hard on that team."
But what about Jeff Scott?“I never heard of the guy, never saw anybody like that,” Kruk said.
Does Habeeb’s claim [that Scott "hug out with half the team"] bother Kruk?“Not at all,” the former first baseman said. “If you listened to everything people said about us, you’d think we were all alcoholics, drug addicts and steroid users. I wish we had that much fun.”
Didn't you just talk about how hard you partied?“One year [Dykstra] weighed next to nothing and the next he was all bulked up,” Kruk said. “I heard reporters wondering what he was on, so I asked him. I said, ‘What did you do?’ He said, ‘I just worked hard.’ I believed him. I had no reason not to believe him. He’d never lied to me before, and I knew he was big into weight lifting.“You know, so many guys were getting big at that time from weights. When I first came in the league, I thought Jack Clark and Steve Garvey were big. Then all of sudden it seemed like everyone was that big. To me, Lenny was no different.”
Good work, Krukie. You're a goddamn hero. And for the record, you dunderhead, several of Manny's teammates, including Curt Schilling, David Wells, and Tim Wakefield, publicly or privately called Manny on his behavior. And as for management, well, they tried to get rid of him. So really, when you think about it, what the fuck are you complaining about?
Labels: john kruk, lenny dykstra, phillies