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.