08.22.06

McAdam : Manny, Wells, Shopping At The Jerk Store

Posted in Baseball at 2:20 am by

Warning that Boston’s “descent into selfishness and infighting could truly doom them,” the Providence Journal’s Sean McAdam dishes the dirt after the Yankees’ 5 game sweep of the Red Sox.

On Friday night, in the fifth inning of the disastrous day-nighter that would set the tone for the Lost Weekend, official scorer Joe Giuliotti determined that Manny Ramirez had reached on an error by Derek Jeter. Jeter had gone into the shortstop hole to backhand a hard grounder, only to have the ball glance off his glove and roll into shallow left.

On the play, teammate Mark Loretta, running from second base, was thrown out at home by Yankees left fielder Melky Cabrera.

Ramirez was enraged by the call, and was so angry about it the next day that he had to be talked into playing the Saturday afternoon game. On Sunday, Ramirez sought out an MLB official to try to get the call reversed.

Think about that: In the middle of the Sox’ three most dispiriting losses of the season, suffered at the hands of the team’s archrival, Ramirez sulked about losing credit for a meaningless single that didn’t even involve an RBI.

(To give credit where it’s due, Ramirez had an otherwise monster series, making one out in the course of five games while reaching base in 19 of 20 plate appearances. He hit two homers and knocked in seven runs).

But with his team’s season in the balance, Ramirez intended to sit out to protest a scorer’s call? Would Jeter do that? Would David Ortiz? Would, in fact, any other player in the game?

It’s not much of a leap to think that Ramirez’s early exit from yesterday’s game — he pulled himself out of the lineup after the fourth inning, telling trainers he was suffering cramps in the right hamstring — was connected to the events of the previous two days.

Finally, there was the eighth inning yesterday, when NESN cameras caught starter David Wells throwing up his hands, then shaking his head in disgust on his way down the dugout runway after catcher Javy Lopez failed to block a pitch from Keith Foulke in the dirt, enabling Nick Green to score from third. When Wily Mo Pena homered in the bottom of the inning, Green’s run proved to be the difference in the game.

Still, such obvious displays of disgust toward on-field events are rare indeed for veterans, especially ones who have been in the big leagues for almost 20 seasons.

I’ll presume that McAdam is pretty certain that Manny was sulking over Friday’s error. But I also recall a number of years back, Nomar Garciaparra taking serious heat for allegedly moaning about an official scorer’s decision, a version of events he disputed. Said incident wasn’t McAdam’s handiwork.

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