[Update: 3:51pm] Theo Epstein spoke with Tim McCarver prior to today's game and said he would attempt to trade Ramirez if the slugger is willing to waive his no-trade clause.
Dan Shaughnessy says that Manny Ramirez' latest incident was the final straw for the Red Sox.
It was extraordinary. In the past, management and the manager would do handstands to excuse Manny's strange acts. No more. This time, the manager - apparently confident there's nothing wrong with the slugger - put Manny's name in the lineup, then sat and waited for Manny to pull himself out of the lineup. Manny complied. Never concerned with wins or losses, Manny told Brad Mills he was unable to play and took himself out of the batting order for the (thus far) biggest game of the season.
It was predictable. It was ridiculous. It was the last straw.
Ramírez had an MRI yesterday and it was clean. This time, the Sox plan to do something about this situation. Soon.
Shaughnessy did not speculate on whether the Sox would try to trade Ramirez, with whom the team has $20MM options in both '09 and '10, or if they would just let him walk after the season.
Sean McAdam noted that Ramirez would have faced a suspension if he did not play in today's game. Today, the media was kept out of the Red Sox clubhouse longer than usual, but when the doors were finally opened, Ramirez was penciled into today's lineup.
- Around The Bases says that if Theo Epstein can trade for a power hitting outfielder, the Sox may decide to place Ramirez on waivers in hopes that another team will claim his contract. If nobody claims Ramirez, the Sox may be willing to release Ramirez and swallow the remainder of his '08 salary.
- The Joy of Sox notes that much of this might be media bias, and Ramirez does have a history of knee problems.
- YankeesRedSox.com is not sure what the Red Sox could get for Ramirez, but believe that "anything is better than a $20mm player not willing to play."
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