Papi in the House; Manny being Manny?
When David Ortiz stepped into the batter’s box for the first time since May 31, Fenway Park was nothing short of electric. A great hand, and well-deserved. This guy has given his heart and soul to this team since arriving in 2003.
What about Manny Ramirez? Has he given his heart and soul to this team since arriving in 2001? That question can not be answered because so much that involves Ramirez is a mystery. We do know he’s been a machine at the plate. But we also know that his injury history is very checkered. It’s hard to get a straight story.
Unlike most players, Ramirez won’t hold court in the middle of the clubhouse and describe the nature of his injury. How did this ailment occur? Nobody has said. Is Manny’s knee sore? Probably. Is it too sore to play a key game against the Yankees in late July? Only Manny can say for sure, and he hasn’t said a word the last few days, other than a very tongue in cheek, “Dont’ worry about it” or “day to day”.
I find it odd that manager Terry Francona posted the lineup with Ramirez in it, and only pulled him after Manny told bench coach Brad Mills he was a no go. In typical cases when a player is injured, that player will call or text message Francona in the morning and say whether he thinks he’ll be able to play or not. In this case, it was relatively clear that Francona and Ramirez had little to no communication during the entire course of the day.
One of the reasons Francona gets to the park early for every game is so he can confer with the training staff on who is available or who isn’t. A lot of times, players will come in early and get treatment from the training staff in an effort to play. We’ve received no word on whether that was the case with Manny today. Sean McAdam from the Providence Journal just reported that Manny left Fenway before the game to get an MRI. I’ll keep you posted on that one.
You wonder just how much of a disconnect there has been between Ramirez and the organization since the whole Jack McCormick saga unfolded.
Put it this way. Earlier in the year, and many times last year, Francona raved about how well Manny had been communicating with him in regard to injuries and other matters. I’ve heard Tito say nothing like that in recent weeks. Reading between the lines, there doesn’t seem to be that great communication we had a couple of months back.
It all makes the club option all the more fascinating. At this stage, I could see them not picking it up. But what if Manny goes on a tear the rest of the season and carries the team to another World Series and starts communicating again? We’ve seen this go both ways so many times that it’s hard to know where it’s going to go next.