The president of the Manny Ramirez's Nebraska Fan Club had a good day last week.
My wife, Kelly, for reasons I don't really know and probably don't want to, likes Manny.
For those of you unfamiliar with Manny, here's who he is: Arguably the best right-handed hitter in the history of baseball and a sure-bet Hall of Famer until a few years ago, when he tested positive for performance enhancing drugs.
At that point, he was suspended, came back, tested positive again and retired. He un-retired and was signed to a minor league contract by the Oakland A's (my favorite team). He played in the minors and asked for his release from the team since he wasn't being called up to the big leagues.
Manny then went to Taiwan this year, played well and asked for his release from that team — where he had to wash his own uniform — and was signed to a minor league contract by the Texas Rangers and assigned to their team in Round Rock, Texas. Round Rock played in Omaha recently against the Storm Chasers, and that's where we saw him play.
It was fun, and anything baseball related attracts our family, and Kelly got to see Manny get a hit.
Manny's story is a tale of a knucklehead who caused his own self-destruction.
Manny Being Manny became a rallying cry to explain why he did the things he did.
He disappeared behind a door into the outfield wall when he played in Boston to relieve himself. I have no idea if there actually was a bathroom behind the wall.
He played the outfield like blindfolded children trying to hit a piÃ±ata.
He took days off if he wasn't in the mood to play.
For years, all this was excused because it was Manny being Manny; just a lovable kook who hit a baseball like only a few in the history of the game ever have.
But you stop being lovable when you stop hitting.
You stop being lovable when you test positive for PEDs — twice.
You stop getting a free pass when stories come out that you treat clubhouse personnel like dirt on your shoe.
But for whatever reasons, my wife likes the guy.
I don't have anything against him. He did all this to himself, and he apparently still loves the game enough to travel by bus from minor league town to minor league town all in an effort to get called up to the bigs again.
He's made enough money to last him and his children a couple lifetimes, so his motivation is his love of hitting a baseball.
I understand that.
If I had a chance to play a child's game and get paid for it, I'd try and do it as long as possible, too.
All that aside, my wife still likes the guy.
He's one of those people who always has a smile on his face. He's kind of child-like.
Whether he makes it back to the big leagues or not is still up in the air, but I have a feeling he'll be playing baseball somewhere for many years to come.
No matter what becomes of him, he'll always have a fan in Nebraska.
Patrick Murphy, of Humphrey, Neb., is a former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.