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Report: Manny wants out

Manny Ramirez apparently isn't as happy in Boston as it would appear.

In the Aug. 1 issue of Sports Illustrated, Tom Verducci will report that Ramirez has asked to be traded for the third time in the last four seasons. He reportedly told Red Sox officials he is unhappy in Boston, particularly because he feels he has no privacy in his life off the field.

However, the Red Sox have no plans to trade Ramirez during the season, according to Verducci. Ramirez will get full no-trade protection under baseball’s 10-5 rule (10 years in the league, 5 with the same team) after this season, which means he’ll be able to turn down any trade involving him if he chooses during the offseason.

On Tuesday night, Red Sox manager Terry Francona told the Boston Globe he's heard no such thing -- from Ramirez or the front office, and said he's witnessed no decrease in Ramirez's happiness.

"He's happy enough to drive in about 90 runs," Francona said, referring to the .274 average, 27 homers, and 90 RBIs Ramirez toted into Tuesday night's game. He added home run No. 28 in the first inning. General manager Theo Epstein said he doesn't respond to such reports. Multiple players surveyed yesterday said Ramirez has no problem with playing here. It's been difficult to gauge Ramirez's personal sentiment this season, as the slugger has refused interviews since hitting his 400th career homer in late May.

According to Verducci, Ramirez first asked to be dealt during spring training in 2002, and again after the next season. He also pleaded with Sox owner John Henry to stay in Boston when the Sox were trying to deal him to the Texas Rangers as part of the Alex Rodriguez deal before the 2004 season.

Ramirez was slow out of the gate this season, but has heated up with the weather. His contract calls for the Sox to pay him $57 million over the next three years.

Ramirez told the Boston Globe in early April that he would play for three more seasons and call it quits at the age of 36.

"That's it," Ramirez said at the time. "I'm trying to play three more years. I just want to go out there and have fun and play the game for fun because in three years it'll be over for me and I'll go be with my family. Family comes first. Once you're done, you're done, but the game is always there. I've accomplished everything I want to accomplish."

Ramirez has been criticized of late for what some have called a lack of focus, particularly when he left the field to go into the Green Monster for what apparently was a bathroom break while Red Sox pitching coach Dave Wallace visited the mound. Ramirez barely made it out in time for the next pitch.

He also recently asked to be taken out of a game (the Red Sox were leading by a wide margin) against the Devil Rays with what was described as “tight hamstrings.” Before the next game, according to the Boston Globe, Ramirez’s teammates were playfully mocking the injury.

Ramirez is one of the more popular players in the Red Sox clubhouse.

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