It would be extremely difficult to imagine Manny Ramirez in anything other than a Boston Red Sox jersey. Yes, I know that he established himself as a monster at the plate while with Cleveland, but when I think of the double finger point, MBM and all the crazy goodness that comes with ManRam, I think of Boston. Really it’s the only thing keeping me from liking the Yankees more at this point.
But all of that could change. And might be changing, writes Dan Shaughnessy of the BOSTON GLOBE. Actually, Shaughnessy says it is changing. And that Manny is more or less already gone.
Manny has punched his ticket out of town. It’s over. O-VA. Adios, amigo. Good night, Irene. Turn out the lights. Last night’s 1-0 loss to the Yankees (think they could have used Manny?) was the proverbial last worthless evening.
Ramírez sealed his fate with the club yesterday afternoon. After longtime enabler Terry Francona filled out a lineup card with Manny batting fourth, the Sox made an announcement that Manny could not play in the biggest game of the season. Seems there were problems with his right knee. Manny was a late scratch.
It was extraordinary. In the past, management and the manager would do handstands to excuse Manny’s strange acts. No more. This time, the manager - apparently confident there’s nothing wrong with the slugger - put Manny’s name in the lineup, then sat and waited for Manny to pull himself out of the lineup. Manny complied. Never concerned with wins or losses, Manny told Brad Mills he was unable to play and took himself out of the batting order for the (thus far) biggest game of the season.
Hey, I feel ya, Red Sox fans. It’s not like this guy has helped bring you two World Series titles over the past five years or anything. But, as Pat Lackey at FANHOUSE caught on the FOX broadcast yesterday, it’s not just the fans and writers. Theo Epstein is ready for Manny to roll the eff out as well.
Prior to the game, Epstein told (Tim) McCarver that he’d be willing to trade Manny if Ramirez was willing to waive his no-trade clause, then pointedly told McCarver that he could repeat that rumor on the air. It sounds to me like Epstein wants people to know that he’s serious about trading Manny this time around.
Call me cynical as hell, but it seems a bit too coincidental for my liking that Manny’s deal is up after this season, meaning that the Red Sox, if they wanted to do the “right” thing, would need to give the slugger another monster contract.
Obviously, that’s not a fiscally superb idea, because of Ramirez’ age and likely decline. But you could see the Red Sox getting caught up in not letting him “pull a Damon” or something similar. But if they trade him now, then none of that matters — it just looks like a dysfunctional marriage that ended with a semi-sloppy public divorce. And that’s a shame for Manny. Because, frankly, for all his shenanigans, he deserves better.