Former WBZ sports director Bob Lobel said Thursday that Manny Ramirez was fined "a six-figure amount" for his June altercation with Red Sox traveling secretary Jack McCormick.
Lobel went on the suggest that Ramirez may have taken three straight called strikes in a pinch-hit at-bat on July 6 "to send a message" to the Red Sox. "The bat on the shoulder for the three pitches from Mariano Rivera, that was a big [expletive] to the Red Sox after the fine," Lobel said. "I'm just telling you, there are things in the front office that are perceived. I'm saying that there is a strong feeling that that [three-pitch strikeout] was the message to the Red Sox and it's a strong feeling that that's unacceptable."
How are you going to pick up the guy's option at this point? Can't the $20 million be spent on someone who's not a head case? I'm not even sure Manny would be satisfied if the Red Sox picked up both next year's option and the following year's: he probably wants at least a three, maybe a four, year deal.
I've been pretty sure athletes were dogging it on thousands, if not tens of thousands of occasions. Every Angel's game I watch in person, I normally spot Garret Anderson loafing on at least four or five plays. But this is the first time I've seen an agent or player come out and confirm it. On a few occasions I've heard: "Why am I going to go play injured when I don't have a contract for next year?" Which is a far cry from what Manny apparently did.
What kind of fine would intentionally tanking an at-bat warrant? We know one thing: unless Manny decapitates Theo Epstein, cleans the skull, and glues portions of it to his batting helmet, he's not going to be benched.