It's hard to grow up. We all know this. Manny Machado is learning this the hard way and in front of a national audience. Should we blame the 21-year-old 3rd baseman for the Orioles for his immature antics? Shouldn't we all take a good look in the past and remember how we acted when we were 21? Hell, when I was 21, I was doing an internship outside of Annapolis, Maryland during the day while getting drunk at the many bars on the Cheasapeake Bay at night. I wasn't playing a game for a living in front of a national audience. With this said, I decided to follow Manny on his recent trip to his psychiatrist, just to see if I could be of any service. This is a transcript of the 15-minute session:
Doctor: "It is great to see you again, Manny. Who is your friend?"
Manny: "This is Brian. He came along to see if he could help with my immature acts and anger management."
Me: "Hi. I love what you did with players like Paul O'Neill in the past. Are you still treating Carlos Zambrano?"
Manny: "You know that a psychiatrist has an oath not to talk about his patients or be charged with malpractice!"
Doctor and Me: (Stare at each other)
Doctor: "So Manny, how have you been? I have been in Russia for sessions with a certain someone for the past two weeks. I'm not going to tell you who, but I am definitely not 'PUTIN' you on." (winks)
Manny: "Well, this douchebag..."
Doctor: "Manny, you know that is not a nice word to use when angry. Let's start again."
Manny: "Well, this, ummm, guy tagged me sort of hard and I got upset. I felt disrespected."
Doctor: "Were you really angry about the tag, or was it something else you were keeping in?"
Manny: "No, Señor. It was the tag."
Me: "Come on Manny. Open up!"
Manny: "Well, I have been having a little problem with Señor Ripken lately. He keeps on coming into the locker room after games and bragging about how 'he never sat out a game' and 'he was a better actor than Kevin Costner, that wife-banging jerk'. He's just ALWAYS there. It's like he has no life outside of baseball."
Doctor: "What upsets you the most about Mr. Ripken?"
Me: (leaning in for some good stuff)
Manny: "I would really wish Señor Ripken would stop insisting on showering with us. I don't want to see a 53-year-old man naked!"
Doctor: "Well, some people might not be so offended by that." (stares daggers at me)
Doctor: "Anyway, why does this upset you so much that a simple tag can set you off?"
Manny: "Well, Josh Donaldson, the guy who tagged me, is also having a better season than me."
Doctor: "Do you think that is what angers you and not the sight of Mr. Ripken's bare ass?"
Manny: "It could be, yes. But Señor Ripken also keeps on telling me that I am not as good as Señor Robinson. Who is this Señor Robinson he speaks of?"
Me: (googling "Ripken bare ass")
Doctor: "He must be speaking of Brooks Robinson. He was a great 3rd baseman for the Orioles before your time."
Me: "Can we go back to the Ripken shower thing?"
Manny: "Ah, okay. I wasn't aware that THAT was the same Señor Robinson. I did not know there used to be non-Latino 3rd basemen."
Doctor: "So what else happened?"
Manny: "Absolutely nothing."
Me: "Manny, you need to tell the truth."
Manny: "Okay, I might have accidentally let go of a bat and let it fly toward third base in one of the next games. My hands were slippery, though."
Me: "Well, at least they weren't slippery in the shower and you dropped the soap in front of Ripken."
Doctor: "Brian! You are not helping! Manny, are you sure it was an accident?"
Doctor: "Manny, you are in a safe place. Tell me everything."
Manny: "Okay, it wasn't an accident. But Donaldson wasn't playing third base anymore so it has nothing to do with that. I swear!"
Doctor: "What happened next?"
Manny: "Señor Selig suspended me for five games."
Doctor: "Do you see how your anger cost you? You lost a lot of respect from people as well. Is that not something you crave?"
Manny: "Si. But at what cost?"
Me: "Seriously. Ripken. Shower. Details!"
Doctor: "So Manny, how do you plan to learn from this experience?"
Manny: "Put more pine tar on my bat?" (laughs)
Doctor: "I'm serious, Manny. How can you make sure your anger doesn't rear its ugly head again?"
Manny: "Well, I guess I could play for the Red Sox. All of their ass-hole moves are instantly called 'gritty' and 'competitive'. It's not like I called baseball a 'war' like Big Papi."
Me: "You tell 'Em, Manny!"
Doctor: "Brian! Shut the hell up!"
Manny: "Talk about anger, eh Doctor?"
Doctor: "Sorry. So what else fuels this anger?"
Manny: "I'm angry because I have to live in Baltimore. Why couldn't I been drafted by a team in a better city? Baltimore is worse than Miami!"
Doctor: "Well, sometimes we are put in difficult situations that we don't want to be in. Look at the bright side: you COULD have to live in Houston."
Manny: "Yes, I suppose. I am making a lot of money. My family is not poor anymore."
Me: "Do any other former players shower in the locker room? Do you know any of the Phillies to see if Sandberg does this?"
Doctor: "Brian, one more outburst and I will ask you to leave."
Manny: "The real root of my anger is the resurgence of Nelson Cruz."
Doctor: "And this makes you mad why?"
Manny: "I am supposed to be the big shot here. No one else. I am supposed to be the guy hitting the home runs and scoring with the ladies and being praised, not him."
Doctor: "Well, that sounds sort of selfish, Manny. Have you heard of being a good teammate?"
Manny: "Señor Ripken speaks of double-team, but that only involves his brother and some girl named Lawanda."
Doctor: "No, no, no. Being a good teammate means being happy for the other players on your team."
Manny: "Oh, like Kobe Bryant?"
Doctor: (laughs) "No, not him. More like Derek Jeter."
Manny: "That guy? What has he ever done?"
Me: "Well, Jeter has..."
Doctor: "I will handle this. Jeter has won five World Series and has been the consummate teammate while keeping himself out of trouble. Is that not what you strive for?"
Manny: "I'm an Oriole. I'm not sure what this World Series you speak of is."
Me: "Tell me about it. I'm a g****** f****** Cubs fan."
Doctor: "Oh dear lord! I had no idea. Manny, you will be fine. Just control your anger. Brian, we will spend the remaining 45 minutes on you. You can leave, Manny. Please continue, Brian."
Me: "Well, it started when I was little..."