Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mannystein's Poker

A poker face is intended to exploit the appearance/reality distinction. Manny Ramirez probably doesn't have much of a poker face.

His two run single in the 4th off Jered Weaver produced a bemused, even condescending grin. After Weaver's cartoonish limb-flailing sideways delivery ejected a fastball, Manny simply swatted it away, sending it back up the middle for the two RBIs, and sending Weaver's assorted limbs after it.

The sequence had a bit of the 3 Stooges to it: Weaver's windup, all appearance and bluster, was an exaggerated windmilling set-up for a why-I-oughta-roundhouse right, only to be met by Manny's short, quick jab to the face. Manny's bat provided the reality principle yet again.

But K-Rod's huge, violent windup is the real deal. When Manny hit a towering bomb with 2 outs in the 9th to cut the Angels lead to 7-5, he began to lift his arms over his head, in his trademark 'there is exactly no shit left in that ball' pose. Manny then thought better of it, and lowered his arms, but his bad poker face left no doubt of his hand. This was only the appearance of victory, not reality. One out later, the Sox had dropped their 6th straight to the Angels.