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Source: MLB investigating Manny's departure

Posted by David Lefort, Boston.com Staff  August 7, 2008 08:55 PM

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Do you wonder a little about Manny Ramirez's unusual final days in Boston? The commissioner's office apparently wonders as well. We found this tidbit in a Dan Shaughnessy column posted on Boston.com this afternoon very interesting:

Feeling a little duped, Red Sox Nation? Still wondering if this whole thing was on the level?

You are not alone. The commissioner's office is investigating the circumstances of Manny's final hours with the Red Sox. The Globe has learned (from a source with direct knowledge of the inquiry) that Bud Selig directed Major League Baseball executive vice president Rob Manfred to contact all parties for an explanation of how things unfolded around last week's trading deadline. According to the source, Manfred has yet to report back to the commissioner.

Here's why Selig's office is looking into the matter:

The Red Sox had an option to retain Ramírez in 2009 for $20 million. They had the same option for 2010. Ramírez, who will turn 37 next season, wanted to be a free agent at the end of this season. His agent wanted the same thing. Boras inherited Ramírez's old contract and stood to earn nothing until Manny signed a new one. It was in the interest of the player and the agent to have the options dropped.

Manny's only leverage was withholding services and playing at half speed. So that's what he did. Sitting out games against Seattle and the Yankees, jogging down the first base line (and maybe even looking at those three strikes against Mariano Rivera), he sent the message that he wanted out. He made sure the Sox knew he could not be trusted to play hard if they kept him until the end of the season with the options intact.

What do you think? Just a conspiracy theory or do you think the could be something to this? Post your comments ...

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