Extra Bases

Sox moving on without Manny

Theo Epstein and Terry Francona met with Sox players before heading upstairs for a press conference, during which Epstein described the Manny Ramirez trade as making the “best of a difficult circumstance” and putting the team in a position to move forward collectively. “We had a meeting with 25 guys who feel like a team,” Epstein said. “We haven’t felt like that for a week.”

Third baseman Mike Lowell said that the “atmosphere was weird in the last week.”

“[Ramirez] is not a press guy,” Lowell said. “When you see his quotes every day, that’s something different. I don’t think it’s all that surprising, but it was weird, like I said.

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“If Dustin Pedroia said those same comments, we’d think he was a Martian. If Manny says it, people like it. It’s front [page] news.”

Red Sox manager Terry Francona was asked if he had achieved some “mental peace” now that Ramirez had been traded.

“Mental peace?” Francona asked. “Are you quoting Manny? Look. When we win games, we feel better.”

More quotes from Theo at the pregame press conference:

  • “There was an environment that was not conducive to winning surrounding this club We wanted to change that if we could. We also wanted to make a good baseball trade.”
  • “There was going to be a time when we had somebody other than Manny Ramirez in left field. And realistically that probably was going to be in 2009.”
  • “I don’t think it’s fair to look back and comment on why Manny was unhappy.”
  • “I don’t think we made this trade specifically because of what happened last week. It’s a longer story than that.”
  • “[Manny] had a remarkable run here. He’s one of the best righthanded hitters in history. His numbers speak for themselves. He was a key part of two World Series teams. No one can ever take that away from him.”

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