If Red Sox manager Terry Francona had his way, Manny Ramirez would not play in the All-Star Game in Pittsburgh. While applauding Manny for keeping the lines of communication open with himself and the coaching staff this season, Francona also said that he believes Manny's right knee is bothering him more than he's let on.
"We've been trying to get him out of there a little bit in situations I [normally] haven't," said Francona. "You don't want his at-bat coming up and somebody comes back, but trying to take the whole season into consideration, we've taken him out a few more times than we would and we'll probably continue to do that, just trying to get him to the All-Star break."
Complicating matters is the fact that Ramirez recently overtook Vladimir Guerrero as the leader in American League All-Star balloting.
"My recommendation would be that he not play," said Francona. "I don't want to throw the league into a fury or disrespect anyone, but I also see this kid enough that I think that's something we should think about because our responsibility is to try to get him to play as many games for the Red Sox as possible."