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Feeling loose: Manny RamirezSo when Manny made his famous it’s-not-the-end-of-the-world-if-we-lose comment, I defended him then and there.

In fact, I even said “Who Cares?” would make a great 2007 postseason rallying cry and hoped for some entrepreneurial spirit to silk-screen it on some t-shirts.

And now that the Red Sox have come back from their 3-1 ALCS deficit and are headed to the World Series, the rest of the baseball writing world is agreeing with me. Now that the games have been played. Now it’s “safe.”

Among the perps? One of my favorite writers, Charles Pierce over at Slate. He posted an article today at noon, beginning:

All right, then, be it resolved: Manny Ramirez knows more about baseball than you do.

And be it further resolved: Manny Ramirez knows more about baseball than anyone else does.

Say it ain’t so, Charlie! Please tell me you wanted to write this column days ago, but your killjoy editor made you wait! Because what you write is true, but it would have been true even if the Red Sox had lost Game 7.

Feeling loose: Jonathan PapelbonAlso today, Eric Pfahler at Scripps Howard chimed in with the following paragraphs:

Manny Ramirez did the right thing — whether he knew it or not — by making his comments prior to Game 5 of the ALCS about how life will move on if the Red Sox don’t make the World Series. Everyone was bashing the Red Sox for playing tight, so Manny becomes Manny and says something silly all the while bashing the ball as if he’s playing with an aluminum bat.

Regardless of what people might think, it was exactly what the Red Sox needed. The team needed to loosen up and it showed in Game 5. No one is better at creating a fun distraction than Ramirez. We in the media are the silly ones who lap it up.

Lap for yourself, Eric!

Now, not everyone recapping Game 7 today mentioned Manny’s comments. But almost everyone talked about the team “staying loose.” And of course, no one was looser than one Manuel Aristides Ramirez. That was true several days ago. Without the benefit of hindsight. When it wasn’t “safe” to say it.

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