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Thursday, July 31, 2008

  Ding, Dong, the Twit Is Gone!

Details are few and far between, but here it is, from two different media outlets so far.

From the Sports Illustrated web site:

The Red Sox traded embattled slugger Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers late Thursday afternoon, SI.com has learned.

Jason Bay is headed to Boston as part of the deal, SI.com has learned. The Pirates will get four minor leaguers in the three-way trade.

[ . . . ]

The Red Sox approached Ramirez in advance of their negotiations, and got the OK from Ramirez. He signed off on the paperwork, contingent upon the two $20-million team options for 2009 and '10 being dropped. The move will set the stage for Ramirez to become a free agent this winter.

Pittsburgh gets Craign Hansen and Brandon Moss, both from Boston, as well as third baseman Andy LaRoche from the Dodgers and a fourth minor leaguer who has yet to be confirmed.

The Red Sox are paying the $7 million remaining on Ramirez's $20 million salary for this year.

From Boston.com:

Manny Ramirez's stormy relationship with the Boston Red Sox appears to be over.

A baseball source has confirmed Ramirez has been traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, ESPN.com has learned.

Jason Bay is going to Boston as part of the deal, Jayson Stark reported. And the Pittsburgh Pirates get four minor leaguers as part of the three-way deal.

Third baseman Andy LaRoche and right-handed pitcher Bryan Morris will go to the Pirates from the Dodgers. Outfielder Brandon Moss and right-handed pitcher Craig Hansen will leave the Red Sox orgianization for Pittsburgh, ESPN.com has learned.


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  No, Manny, the Red Sox Don't Deserve You

Man-child, idiot savant, multiple personality Manny Ramirez made a proclamation yesterday that perfectly sums up where his relationship with the Boston Red Sox has ended up.

"Boston no me ha dicho nada, no me han pedido que firme ningún papel o algo parecido", dijo Ramírez a ESPNdeportes.com desde el estadio Fenway Park antes del inicio del partido del miércoles contra los Angelinos de Los Angeles.

[ . . . ]

"Los Medias Rojas no merecen un pelotero como yo", dijo.

In English, as far as I can figure out :

"Boston has not told me nothing, has not asked me to sign no paper or anything like that," Ramirez said to ESPNdeportes.com [from] Fenway Park before the start of Wednesday's game against the Los Angeles Angels.

[ . . . ]
"The Boston Red Sox do not deserve a player like me," he said.

You know what? He's right. The Red Sox don't deserve what he has dished out over the years. They don't deserve a $20 million player who won't run out a ground ball, who takes himself out of the lineup for the kinds of aches and pains that every other major leaguer plays with on a regular basis, who makes inappropriate jokes at inappropriate times about the prospect of a trade necessitated by his temper tantrums, etc. Having paid him a lot of money over the years, they certainly deserve the production they got from him, but they don't deserve the horse manure he has been shovelling for far too long.

So will they Sox cast off Ramirez in a deal at the trade deadline? That is the burning question. This morning, the reports were that he would end up with the Marlins in a three-way deal that would net the Sox Jason Bay from Pittsburgh. That deal now appears dead, due to either (depending on whose "sources" you believe) the Marlins' insistence on extra cash from the Sox in addition to their paying the rest of Ramirez' salary, or the Pirates' insistence on too many prospects.

On the other hand, WEEI is just now commenting on a Sports Illustrated report of a possible deal with the Dodgers. Let's hope.

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

  All-Star Week Updates

Somewhat belated congratulations to All-Star Game MVP J.D. Drew. He was one of seven Red Sox All-Stars, including starters Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, and Manny Ramirez; subs Jason Varitek (voted in by the other players) and Drew; fan favorite David Ortiz who was voted the starting DH but didn't play because of his healing injury; and reliever Jonathan Papelbon. It was sweet to see so many Red Sox players, not to mention manager Terry Francona and his coaches, descend upon the Den of Darkness, soon to be known as The House that Hank Tore Down. If only the oh-so-classy Yankees fans (just ask them — they'll tell you how classy they are) had shown a little, you know, class.

Special thanks to 2004 ALCS MVP Mariano Rivera for holding the tie that sent the All-Star Game into extra innings until the American League could do what they always do, i.e. beat the hapless National League. With home field secured for the World Series, the Red Sox have one item knocked off their to-do list and can now focus solely on winning the division.

On Thursday evening, David Ortiz homered for the Pawtucket Red Sox in the first of several minor league rehab appearances leading up to what we all hope will be his return to the Sox line-up in time for in the upcoming Yankees series. A friend and I managed to make it to the game thanks to an advance online purchase of two general admission seats.

It was great. Papi's home run was but one of five—count 'em, FIVE!—hit by the PawSox. (The visiting Toledo Mud Hens had three homers of their own.) Attendance was 11,460 at a ballpark I thought only held 10,000, but that may have been before they put a grass berm and bleachers in the outfield. In any event, the place was sold out, and there were LOTS of people standing behind the general admission seats.

In addition to getting a standing O after his fourth inning solo homer, Papi got a huge ovation when he took the field for warm-ups, when he returned to the dugout after warm-ups, when he was on deck, when he was at bat, when he popped out in the first, when he lined out in the fourth (his second at-bat of the inning), when he walked in the fifth, and when he came out of the game for a pinch runner—at which point people started leaving. In fairness to the crowd, it was hot and muggy, and many of the people leaving were families with little kids. And a lot of us did stay for the whole thing. Final score: PawSox 15, Mud Hens 6, though it wasn't even as close as the score makes it sound.

PawSox starter Edgar Martinez (not to be confused with the cutie-patootie formerly of the Seattle Mariners) pitched into the seventh inning and was charged with three runs, two of which scored when Justin Masterson came on in relief and coughed up a grand slam. Let's just say he was not stellar. Chris Smith finished it out.

Every PawSox starter except Joe Thurston (Juuuuust sit right back and you'll hear a tale...) scored at least one run. Thurston and Keith Ginter had no hits, but Ginter did draw walks in three consecutive innings and scored all three times. I looked back to my spring training scorecards and realized that I saw each and every PawSox starter, plus two of the pitchers, at spring training this year. Oh, and lest I forget, Chris Carter (a.k.a. The New Lenny, a.k.a. Hunky) went 4-for-5 with two singles, a double, and a two-run homer. His last hit before being lifted for a pinch runner was a single, but of course we were all hoping for a triple so he could get the cycle.

Did I mention it was warm and muggy? Of course the air temperature cooled off a bit after the sun went down, but the place was so packed and there was only a slight intermittent breeze, so it felt much warmer because of all the amassed body heat. No one who has ever attended a game with me in the blazing heat will be surprised to learn that the bra came off while we were in line at will-call before the game. I call this the female version of "going commando."

Now I'm in Maine visiting my brother, and we hope to grab tickets for tonight's Portland Sea Dogs double-header against the Trenton Thunder, the AA affiliate of the Yankees. The not-yet-Triumphant Brother, a lifelong MFY fan due to the unfortunate after-effects of being dropped on his head as a young child, is going with me to tomorrow's game with a bunch of my crazy Red Sox friends. Since taking a job in Portland last year and moving to the area part-time, he has become totally hooked on the Sea Dogs, which I explained to him was step one in his deprogramming.

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