About a week ago, the former WBZ-TV sports director said Manny was fined $500,000 for the Jack McCormick incident and decided to retaliate against the front office by allowing himself to be struck out by Mariano Rivera on July 6.
First of all, Lobel was way off in the amount of the fine. It turns out it was approximately $10,000-$15,000. And the second part of his "report" is more mind-reading than anything else, along the lines of the way Fox News begins stories with "Someone people say ..." to get the most silly, unfounded rumours into the public consciousness.
Regarding the possibility that Manny threw away that pinch-hitting appearance: If you believe that, then you probably have to believe that J. D. Drew tanked last night to end the game, that Jacoby Ellsbury has been allowing himself to get rung up, etc., etc., efuckingtc. ...
And by the way, strikes 2 and 3 of that at-bat were either balls or the type of borderline pitches that Ramirez often will not swing at. (Maybe he should have been swinging anyway, knowing that Rivera often gets those pitches called strikes.)
And as far as anyone saying, this is another in a long line of Manny Incidents, please remember that the history of MBM can be more accurately described as a long line of incidents blown out of proportion by the media and then used as evidence of Manny's evilness. The reporters know much more about what is going on than I/we do, but they have rarely put their cards on the table in a way that could erase my skepticism.
Right now, this is what we know for sure:
Manny has chronic knee problemsHowever, I now think that this is Manny's last year with the Red Sox. $20 million will go a long way in 2009.
He did not play last night
He went for an MRI, which looked good
There is a shitload of rumours swirling around