Believe it or not, Manuel Aristides Ramirez turns forty years old today. The perpetual ManChild is now officially middle-aged. While he is legally eligible to come off the MLB suspension list today—the A's have decided to let the '2012 Manny Vintage' age a little longer at AAA Sacramento. Good thinking, Billy Beane.
Manny Ramirez is destined to be a vexing conundrum for Red Sox fans for generations to come. There is no doubt that he was a linchpin of two World Championship teams. But it's also clear that his antics often went far beyond "Him Being Him" and morphed into him being a spoiled jerk quitting on his teammates. And we're not even talking about about decking 60-year old travelling secretaries or bailing on trips to Dana Farber.
Nevertheless, there will always be a contingent of The Nation that reveres the man (truth be told, I was often counted among that group). Something tells me that the jury will be out for many years after Manny finally hangs up the dreadlocks. We will need the luxury of time to judge the ultimate contribution of one of the most unique athletes ever to grace the stage in Beantown. So, if you even know it's your birthday: Happy 40th, Manny.