He demanded trades, he fought in the clubhouse and dugout, he took breaks in the monster when the game was still going, and cut off throws from the outfield.
He also high-fived fans while doubling up runners at first, had big hit after big hit, performed time after time in the playoffs, and was one of the key factors in winning us two World Series.
There is no comparison.
Sure, Manny left in an entirely controversial manner. He was pushing traveling secretaries, taking three straight from Mariano, and forgetting which leg was injured. But he almost did the same in '05, and when he came out to pinch hit (resulting in a game-winning single), we cheered all the same.
Because it's not the antics we mind so much. That's “Manny being Manny.” A way of life in Fenway from 2001-2008. The fact that the organization eventually traded him—in the end, likely entirely because of business reasons and their hesitation to invest big money in older players—is the key difference between '05 and '08. That, and another championship.
.350/.423/.500 in the 2004 postseason, .348/.508/.652 in '07. Nothing Manny has done can erase that, so let's cheer him for the rings when we see him again tonight in Fenway.