I'm Hoping Manny is Still Being Manny, Many, Many More Days
According to Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald, per WEEI, Manny Ramirez addressed several members of the media in the daily, pre-game meeting in Red Sox (check!) manager Terry Francona's office.
He said he wants to play for the Sox (through 2005...). He said he has no problem with Tito. He said he needed "the day off" this past Wednesday. He said he did not ask out of the lineup yesterday.
Bottom line, to this pseudo-scribe? This should extinguish the little, short-term fires. It should tell Theo and the Trio to cool their jets and not trade the 2004 American League home run champion and the 2004 World Series MVP for a hot dog and a can of worms.
Does it mean that the front office can't pursue dealing him for something in the same universe as equal or comparable value? No. In fact, this might favor the Sox. It gives them something that they haven't had since the Verducci article in SI and the Wednesday "I don't wanna" flap in St. Pete: time.
Manny is not on the lineup card, as of right now. Who knows if that will change...but Manny took a step, albeit three days late, spoke up, and attempted to clear the air and unmuddy the water. He did that with the beat writers and, hopefully, the next statement from Manny can be made to his teammates, explaining to them that he's with them, that he wants to win day in and day out, and that he is One Of The 25
To that end, the Red Sox front office should make a statement using Terry Francona as the vehicle and Carl Beane as the most readily apparent spokesman:
"Now batting for the Red Sox, the leftfielder, number 24...(dramatic pause)...Manny (another dramatic pause)...RAMIREZ (and trill the "R's").
p.s. - here's also hoping that Red Sox Nation can talk about the 7.0 innings of 6 hit ball, with 2 walks and 8 k's by rookie Jon Papelbon.