The day after a report surfaced that Manny Ramirez had requested a trade, the Boston Herald’s Tony Massarotti reassures us that the Red Sox left-fielder isn’t going anywhere.
Here we are, in year five of an eight-year sentence without parole, acting as if all of this is somehow news. Manny is unhappy. Manny wants out. But Manny still has more than three years remaining on a contract that pays him an average of $20 million a season, and unless he is willing to eat, say, half of the money, the Red Sox have a better chance of moving the left field wall than the man who drains his bladder inside of it.
“When was this, when he was pissing in the scoreboard?” bemused Sox manager Terry Francona said yesterday when informed of a Sports Illustrated report that Ramirez has (again) asked to be traded. “I’m at a loss on that one. You guys can have fun with that one because I know it’ll have some legs for a couple of days. So go ahead and knock yourselves out.”
Let’s get something straight here: Ramirez never has been happy in Boston. Never, ever, ever. We might go so far as to suggest that Ramirez never has been truly happy anywhere, but none of us is really capable of knowing that. What we do know, for certain, is Ramirez has spent almost as much energy trying to leverage his way out of Boston over the past five years as he has knocking in runs.
Last year? Don’t kid yourselves. Ramirez put on a happy face and accepted his plight, but only after the Red Sox placed him on waivers. The Sox tried to give him away, for goodness sake, and nobody took him because of the anvil that is his contract. It was as if the Sox left the keys in the Rolls Royce and asked someone only to pick up the payments, and nobody wanted the burden or responsibility of dealing with the headache.