Editor’s note: The Globe’s Gordon Edes reported Friday afternoon that, according to industry sources, Ramirez’s fine was in the $10,000-$15,000 range, not in the hundreds of thousands.
According to former WBZ-TV sports director Bob Lobel, Manny Ramirez was fined a six-figure amount for his June altercation with Red Sox traveling secretary Jack McCormick — and he wasn’t happy about it.
“Manny was fined six figures to go to a charity,” Lobel said this morning on sports radio WEEI. “That got [Manny’s] attention … he became a petulant child by being punished. No matter what the crime was, pushing an employee, that was the issue … he acted out [after they fined him]. They got his attention. He doesn’t like to be punished in any way, shape, or form… ”
Lobel’s strong words didn’t stop there. He went on to allege that there was a perception that in a pinch-hit at bat at Yankee Stadium on July 6 — more than a week after the incident with McCormick — Ramirez took three straight called strikes to send a message to the Sox.
“The thing that most people are forgetting and haven’t talked about is the strikeout in Yankee Stadium,” Lobel said. “The bat on the shoulder for the three pitches from Mariano Rivera. That was a big [expletive] to the Red Sox after the fine. I’m just telling you … there are things in the front office that are perceived … I’m saying that there is a strong feeling that that [three-pitch strikeout] was the message to the Red Sox and it’s a strong feeling that that’s unacceptable … there’s a feeling that he didn’t give it his all, let’s put it that way … I’m just saying the front office has not forgotten that moment. It’s akin to Nomar sitting on the bench [in a game in which Derek Jeter dove into the stands at Yankee Stadium in 2004]. It’s the same thing. It’s an at-bat that resonated very strongly in the front office.”
During the All-Star break, Ramirez told the Boston Herald’s Rob Bradford that he would like to stay in Boston after this season, but that if the team doesn’t exercise the first of two one-year, $20 million options they have on Manny, he’ll play elsewhere.
“To be honest with you, I don’t know, I want to stay in Boston, but I want to sit down after the season with ownership and see what my future is going to be in Boston,” he said. “If they don’t pick it up, I’m a free agent and I’ll go play somewhere else.”
Ramirez added that holding court with the Sox’ executives is important to him because “I want to know what’s my situation. I want no more [expletive] where they tell you one thing and behind your back they do another thing. I think I’ve earned that respect, for a team to sit down with me and tell me this is what we want, this is what we want to do.”
Responding to Ramirez’s comments via e-mail to Bradford the next day, Sox owner John Henry wrote, “I find remarks that we have been anything other than completely straightforward to be personally offensive. Manny has been a crucial part of two world championships. I do not believe we would have won either without him. He has never played a more important role than he has thus far this year.”