Manoh has a “special moment” on Mother’s Day that begins with the presence of mother and grandmother

Cleveland – “Mom!” Alec Manouh’s voice jumped off the phone, a little frightened, a little frightened. “You just smashed your car!”

“Oh my God, Alec!” Susanna Loach replied. “You did what?”

As Manoh said, he smashed her car. It was 2013 and Manoah was a 15-year-old student at South Dad High School in Homestead, Florida, about 45 minutes south of Miami. He was playing MLB The Show with his friend, Donovan, when the game suddenly stopped working. Something wrong with the disc. A particularly frustrating turn of events considering that Manoah had just bought it from Walmart two blocks away.

He wanted his money back. Exchange for at least a functional version. But it was getting late and Walmart was closing soon. Manoh might not get there in time if he walked. He just got his education license from the Florida Department of Highway and Automobile Safety. So, he asked Susanna if he could take her car.

It wasn’t just a car. The 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee was all new – white with black tires. The person Susanna always wanted but never thought she would be able to afford. Carlos Rodriguez, Manoah’s uncle, had just landed a job as general manager of sales at Planet Dodge in Miami. And he was able to pull off some contract jiu-jitsu to make the numbers work on Susanna’s end if she was willing to take the lead.

She never treated herself to anything, devoting every extra dollar to supporting the baseball dreams of her two young sons, Alec and Eric, who were about to be recruited by the New York Mets the following year. She wasn’t quite sure how she would make car payments work. But she always wanted that Grand Cherokee.

I only had it for two months. That’s when I let Alek take her around the block to Walmart in search of a replacement disc, a minute-long trip that brought him to one of those four-way intersections where traffic lights flash red in one direction and yellow in the other. Manouh’s light was flashing red. The light of the car coming from his left was flashing yellow. Maybe you can see where this is going.

Because Manoah was going to read in the official Florida driver’s license booklet he got, hear him in the Traffic Law and Substance Abuse education course he completed, and show his knowledge of the Class E knowledge exam he passed with a minimum score of 80 percent in order to get his learner’s license Its own, in situations such as those where any driver approaching a flashing red light is expected to obey oncoming traffic, while drivers approaching a flashing yellow are expected to proceed with caution.

“I stopped. But I thought the other car needed to stop too,” says Manoh. You know, I’m young – I’m learning to drive. I did not know. I thought it was a stop sign for everyone. I saw the other guy coming. But I assumed it would stop. So, I started to go. And then it was just, “Bang!”

When Manoah pulled his mother’s jeep into the intersection, the oncoming vehicle swerved straight into his front driver’s side axle, sending him and Donovan spinning until they stopped in the middle of the intersection. From that very spot Manoah called Susanna in a slight panic to let her know that the dream car she couldn’t afford had been collected.

“And she hasn’t had a car in a while. For at least two months. Maybe longer. She had to find another way to go to work, to take us to a baseball game, to do anything. It was definitely a huge pain in her butt. Huge,” says Manoh. “That put her in a really tough spot. She already has a lot on her plate. And now her car is written off.

But I always told her, from that day forward, ‘I’ll give it back to you, Mom. Don’t worry, I’ll give it back to you. And at the time, it was like, “Yeah, sure, Alec.” Like, ‘Get it back?’ what are you talking about? I need to find a way to work in the morning. ”

Those hard days, the hope and tumult were a distant memory on Sunday, nearly a decade later, as Manoah took the hill at Progressive Field in Cleveland on Mother’s Day to begin the 26th of his burgeoning MLB career in what ended with a 4.3 loss for the Blue Jays to the Guardians. Toronto entered the eighth inning with a 3-2 lead, but Tim Meeza coughed Homer into Owen Miller before letting Adam Semper score again in the Oscar Mercado hit. And the Blue Jays offense couldn’t have anything against Emmanuel Claes in the ninth, capping a quiet day, a four-hit, three-walk.

Manoah wasn’t the sharpest, running at a diminishing fast ball speed and scattered command to grind through five innings of a two-ball run. Or at least it didn’t look sharper. After the match, Manoah said he had trouble catching key balls used in the match throughout the afternoon.

“They’re terrible. I know MLB has a guy who rubs them. Those balls were out of the box. Some of the laces were huge. Some were fluffy. They were all brand new white balls. There’s no excuse. But, yeah, surely the balls should be,” said Manoah. Better.” “You promote. You can’t do anything. You cannot call time and order a new bucket of balls. You just have to go attack. It’s one of those days. I just have to find a way to keep breathing. Stay inside. And try to make the team win.”

This certainly explains Manoh’s troubles fixing his pitches throughout the afternoon, including those that flew from his hand to the back podium:

Despite this challenge, Manoah was able to throw 61 of his 95 throws in hits. He hit three, walked on one of them, and hit two men. Jose Ramirez earned it for a triple RBI, then scored in the Miller sacrifice fly. But that was the extent of the damage.

If things are going that way for him on a bad day when he can’t control the balls he’s throwing, it’s inevitable that things will go well when he feels his best. Manoh has not seen the sixth game for the first time in the last 14 times. But since he’s there over and over again, he’s found a way to limit damage, take out his team, and put him in a position to win.

I’m not here to make excuses. Lots of mistakes happened today. it is what it is. This team will fight no matter what. Manoh said. “I just have to go out there and compete. Sometimes God throws some things in front of you to see how strong you are. I walked strong today. And I definitely walk strong — I learn to adapt, I learn to adapt, I learn to deal with adversity.”

Of course, for Maria, Susanna and Manoah’s grandmother, who was there in powder blue Blue Jays watching from the third row behind the club’s bunker, it didn’t matter in any way how Manoah performed. Only that he was on that hill at all.

“My mum’s first day at the show and I’m doing the show there with them? How cool is that?” Manoh says. “Talk about a special moment.”

Two weeks ago, when he saw how the Toronto promotions schedule was lined up and that his sixth season was due to start on Mother’s Day, Manoah got a more cheerful call to his mother than the one he made from that house interruption, asking her to clear the weekend schedule. Because he was traveling with Maria to Cleveland to see it.

What he didn’t tell her was that he would be wearing a pair of pink and white cleats, a size 17 that he was making especially for the day and planning to gift Susanna after his debut. Shown in one of the shoes is the same heart Susanna painted on her arm after giving birth to Manoh 24 years ago. The other has a grid of diamonds within squares as you see on a baseball sheet wrapped around the heel, which is Manoah’s all-time favorite.

Throughout her junior league days and traveling ball for her son, Susanna has reliably taken charge of keeping the team’s points down, keeping track of everyone’s stats and results in a large scorecard from her front row seat. Some of Manoah’s favorite photos from those days are of Susanna leading him and his teammates in a golf cart through the tournaments, balancing the big scorecard on her lap.

“She was always the mother of our team growing up,” Manoah says. “She was always doing whatever she could help him. Whether it was cooking for everyone or doing the scorecard. She was kind of like a coach, honestly. She always made me curious about running out of globes and stuff.”

For Susanna, being a mom on the team was more of a commitment than it is for most people. Susanna, who is a single mother, made great sacrifices to allow Eric and Alec to pursue their dreams in the league. I worked multiple jobs to incur the registration fee. She sprayed and repurposed old catcher gear to make it look like new; Arranged early morning travel tours for ball games with coaches, friends and family when you couldn’t miss work; Sometimes she would forgo her dinner so she could put enough food on the table for her children.

At one point, Susanna found herself between houses and shared an air mattress with Eric and Alec on the floor of Maria’s one-bedroom apartment. She had nowhere to keep her belongings, nor had much to talk about. But when the weekend football games came, Susanna was there with her record and whatever else she could give her, as she asked her boys to work hard during routine breaks, turn the page on poor results, and overcome conflict through effort.

“Financially, it was tough. She went through a lot of bullshit to give us a chance to play ball. So much bullshit that mom would never want to do. But she was putting her pride aside and doing everything she could for us. She didn’t care. Manoah says.” She didn’t have much to work with. But she was just saying, “I don’t care. I’ll try to take care of as much as I can. She’s just such a generous person. She has a generous heart. She always put us in front of her. Regardless.”

It only backfired on her once, when she let Manoah take her car to Walmart for a new video game. Manoh will never forget the regret he felt that day. He knew how much he would sacrifice his mother for him. How that car was the only thing it handled itself. He had no idea when, where, or how he would make it up to her. Only that’s what he will do. He has been telling her since that day. I’ll give it back to you, Mom. Don’t worry, I’ll give it back to you.

Fast forward half a decade to 2019, when Manoah was named No. 11 overall in the MLB Draft by the Blue Jays, and signed a $4.55 million bonus. Could buy a few jeeps. Forget the Grand Cherokee – Manoah could get her mom into a Wrangler. But that wasn’t what he promised all those years ago.

So, shortly after his enlistment, Manoah went to see his uncle Carlos at Planet Dodge. They ate lunch, shot the breeze, broke the pieces. Take a look at what Carlos had in stock. And here it is – the all-new 2020 Grand Cherokee. White with black edges like the one that Manoa’s darted past that flashing red light. He drove her from Carlos’ plot that day, drove to the new house in a nice neighborhood in the Miami area, bought Susana with his bounty, and made another call to his mother.

“Um! Come outside,” a Manouh’s voice jumped from the phone, slightly excited and a little proud. “I told you I’d get that pocket back.”

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