Manny Ramirez essentially sulked his way out of Boston by refusing to play, not hustling and bad mouthing the team. He was angry, apparently, that the Red Sox wouldn?t give him the big contract extension he wanted.
So how, exactly, is he increasing his market value by proving to be such a clubhouse headache? Ramirez would be wise to pay close attention to what?s happened to Barry Bonds. No one doubts that Bonds can still play, but no one wants him ? not even for the major league minimum ? because of the off-field problems he?d create.
Bonds never did some of the stuff we?ve seen from Ramirez lately. The Giants never got so fed up with Bonds that they paid him to play somewhere else, as the Red Sox just did with Ramirez.
There are, of course, a few differences between Bonds and Ramirez that go in Ramirez?s favor. When Ramirez goes on the market this winter, he?ll be seven years younger than Bonds was when he went on the market last winter. Also, for all of Ramirez?s issues, he was never indicted for perjury.
Still, I can?t helping thinking that if Ramirez really wanted that four-year, $100-million deal this winter, the best way to get it would have been to play hard and be a good teammate for the final two months of this season. The Red Sox, after all, are one of the few teams who could afford that deal, and now he?s eliminated them from the running.
A HALO OCTOBER
The Angels were probably the best team in the American League ? and therefore the best team in baseball ? before they picked up Mark Teixeira.
Now? Forget it.
If the Angels don?t win the World Series, it?ll have to be considered a failure.
They have the best starting rotation and the best bullpen. They play solid-to-spectacular defense. They hadn?t hit as much as they should have early in the season, but they?re making up for that now.
As an aside, the A?s were not too upset to see Teixeira going to their rivals, because in all likelihood he?ll be gone at the end of the season (probably to the Yankees).
?I?d rather deal with Mark Teixeira for two months than Casey Kotchmann for five years,? one A?s official said.
REPLAY IS COMING
I had been skeptical that this replay thing was really going to get off the ground this season, but not anymore.
A former player who now works in the commissioner?s office told me this week that replay is coming this season. Bank on it.
For now it?ll just be used on home-run calls. (Fair or foul? Over the fence or not?) I?m in favor of replay in theory, but I don?t have a lot of confidence that a flawless system can be implemented in the middle of a season. I?d rather they start it next year.
- The Class-A Lowell Spinners held a ?Political Correctness Night? on July 23, in which the foul lines became fair lines and the names of players who made errors were not announced.
On the next night, ?Political Incorrectness Night,? pink pot-holders were given out to the first 250 female fans. Only women took orders at the concession stands.