Joe Buck: If you don't know why we keep talking about the Manny Ramirez situation, he showed up at the park of a finale of a series in Seattle and said he couldn't play. His knee was sore and he was unavailable. Then an off day. And then after initially posting one lineup card yesterday, Terry Francona found out that Ramirez was not able to go again, according to Manny, and had to change the lineup. ... So Francona changes the lineup last night and then last night met with Manny Ramirez, and this morning met with Manny Ramirez to discuss the situation. And I think Terry Francona's best defense -- it's very hard for anybody not named Manny Ramirez to say "okay that guy's not hurt". Here is a guy who's played 95 games and if you ask Terry Francona, he'll say, well, obviously, we're getting towards August, everybody's nicked up at this point so it's hard for Francona or any one of us or any one of his teammates to say "well, he's not hurt, he's faking it." But what Francona will tell you is if he was hurt, then it's up to him to get treatment, extra treatment on that knee. That never came up, it was never a part of his daily routine and then he just pops up at the ball park and says he can't play.I'm not sure Theo's statement is news -- the club has indicated its willingness in the past to trade Manny in the right deal. But I thought I'd type it out -- and also offer a flavour of how Fox was spinning it.
Tim McCarver: I'm not a doctor, but I would think that if he was hurt, that it would show up on an MRI. They had both knees MRI'd last night. Nothing showed up on the MRI. One question we asked of Theo Epstein, who was in Terry's office today, was that -- is it out of the realm of possibility that Manny could be traded? Theo Epstein's response to that is that Manny has a no-trade clause, but if he would waive -- he said you can tell this -- you can say this on the air, that if he would waive that no-trade clause, that they would be interested in talking to other teams about the services of Manny Ramirez. Now I thought that was a very candid comment from Theo Epstein.
Buck: Well, a couple of times -- I mean, Ramirez was a guy who was signed by the previous regime. Dan Duquette was the general manager at the time, and this group has never really warmed up to him, despite all the production on the field and what he does with a bat in his hand. They put him on waivers in the past, they had him involved in the deal for Alex Rodriguez, which fell apart, so it's not like it's out of the realm of possibility that they would want to do it, but as Theo said, and it makes sense, he's untradeable.
Buck: He's a 5 & 10 guy, so he can veto any deal and with these options, he would want any team that picked him up to pick up his contract options for the next two years at $20 million a pop and that's not going to happen.
Buck: So it appears, as we sit here on the 26th of July in 2008, that Manny Ramirez will be a player that Terry Francona has to deal with --
McCarver: As he has.
Buck: -- for the rest of the year. The odd thing is that if he was making a statement, Manny Ramirez, here's a guy who has changed his attitude with the media, he's been very accessible as opposed to years past, he wants the Red Sox to pick up a $20 million option for next year, he seems to have acted and played as a guy who wants that option picked up, then to do what he did at this time of the year, if that's what happened, to make a statement, not only disappoints the Red Sox, but sends off alarm bells across major league baseball, that the guy is not to be counted on if he is indeed not injured and just sitting out -- the last two games.
McCarver: You have a guaranteed contract, you're sitting out, it's almost the baseball player's version of extortion. What are you going to do to him? What are you going to do? Dock his pay? You can't do that.
July 26, 2008
Theo Says He's Open To Trading Manny
From Fox's Saturday afternoon broadcast, bottom of the second inning (small bits of game description edited out; Theo stuff bolded):
by allan at 9:07 PM