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Francona clearly no fan of Ramirez

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  February 22, 2012 12:43 PM

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The New York Times's Tyler Kepner doesn't hold back much in questioning Manny Ramirez's return to the majors, but it's a quote from former Red Sox manager Terry Francona that is the most explosive portion of the piece.

Ramirez, who will be 40 by the time he can play again, is a ghostly reminder of a tainted era with a long history of roguish behavior. Terry Francona, his nice-guy manager in Boston, once said this to Peter Gammons, "Manny Ramirez is the worst human being I've ever met." That might say it all.

It is indeed a loaded statement, one somewhat balanced by more genial comments made by Rays Joe Maddon and Evan Longoria, both of whom knew Ramirez for a whole two months. Francona, of course, toiled with the hopeful Oakland Athletic for four-plus years. According to Gammons's MLB.com column from last November, Francona made the comment in 2008, not long before Ramirez was dealt to the Dodgers in a deadline deal. 

Ramirez, of course, still needs to serve a reduced suspension of 50 games before he can play in the majors again, but he also has to make the club. 

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About the Author

Eric Wilbur is a Boston.com sports columnist who is still in awe of what Dana Kiecker pulled off that one time in Toronto. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children. Comments and suggestions for the best Buffalo wing spots are encouraged.

Contact Eric Wilbur by e-mail or follow him on Twitter.

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