For any sport there is a very finite number of puns and historical references that can be applied to the story of the day. Some writers, however, seem to have set their headlines and leads on autopilot when writing about Manny Ramirez, the disgraced Dodger leftfielder who's been benched 50 days for doping. In other words, they couldn't resist resorting to the immortal if apocryphal lament of a boy confronting Chicago White Sox slugger Shoeless Joe Jackson with the words, "Say it ain't so, Joe," after Jackson had been accused of participating in the fixing of the 1919 World Series. Among some examples:
- Say it ain't so; Manny needs to swallow pride (Concord Monitor, New Hampshire)
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- Say it ain't so. People either love or hate Manny Ramirez. (Arkansas Times)
- Now, Manny Ramirez?
Manny, say it ain't so. (San Bernardino County Sun, California)
- Mr. LARRY MINTZ: Say it ain't so, Manny. It's a good thing they had a winning streak. (National Public Radio transcript)