First of all, let's be clear about the situation between Terry Francona and Ramirez prior to last night's game. As Jeff Goldberg wrote in his Courant blog, "Francona told the media at 4 p.m. he reserved the right to change it if Ramirez indicated he couldn't go. Shortly before 4:30, the revised lineup was posted without Ramirez."
It seems odd that the Red Sox would have MRIs done on both knees. Both came back clean. Also, before he logged off for the night, Rob Bradford reported:
There are strong indications that if Manny Ramirez shows up at the park Saturday and pronounces himself unfit to play, the team will issue disciplinary actions which could include a suspension.Bradford's writing is pretty much agenda-free, so perhaps there is some validity to the XM suspension rumours. But what in the world are "strong indications"? Is someone in management yakking to the beat reporters? Were there just whispers among players?
Sean McAdam thinks the Red Sox's relationship with Ramirez may have "reached the tipping point" and there may be
something of a showdown today ... Skepticism obviously exists within the organization about the severity of Ramirez's injury. Ramirez did not seek treatment for the knee on Thursday, an off-day ... Ramirez said Wednesday in Seattle that the knee had been bothering him for the last week, but he has not sought treatment from the training staff.Would the team suspend Manny because they felt he was faking an injury? The union would have a field day with that one -- and not only because Ramirez, at age 36 with a history of knee problems and of playing when hurt, has not been at 100% for quite some time.
Gordon Edes says that
One player privately called it a disgrace and said he would not be surprised if the team tried to trade Ramirez.But Edes follows that up with a snide remark that has no place beyond the lines of an opinion column:
He'd been sent to Massachusetts General Hospital during the game to have an MRI of both knees, the Sox evidently taking no chances that their slugger might have gotten confused about which one hurt.I expect that type of sideways snicker from CHB (who, I'm told, also weighs in this morning), but not Edes.
The few hours between the opening of the clubhouse and the start of this afternoon's game should be interesting.