In Saturday’s Boston Globe, Gordon Edes reported that Manny Ramirez lobbied to remain in Boston after learning he had been traded to the Dodgers. Manny’s agent, Scott Boras, denied the report.
In an interview today on Boston sports radio station WEEI, Edes — who now writes for Yahoo! sports — stood by the report.
“I heard it through three different sources who had direct knowledge of the negotiations,” Edes said. “… we’re talking about Manny, so whether or not he actually had a change of heart I can’t really speak to that but the reality is, and I’m surprised that Scott [Boras] denied it as adamantly as he did, but the reality is they had a conversation, Scott and Theo Epstein, within an hour after the trade was made official, saying ‘look, if you drop the options, Manny will stay and give full effort,’ and Theo basically said that train has left the station men, pack plenty of sun screen, you’re on your way to LA. To me, was it surprising? No, because we’ve seen Manny flip-flop so many times on whether he wanted to be here or not. I think in the end, he may have said, ‘jeeze, this is a lot of uprooting of my family and everything for just two months.
“From what I’m told from people close to Manny and his family, his wife Juliana was very happy in Boston. There’s a very active Brazilian community in Boston. She had a wide circle of friends and all, and I would have been interested to be a fly on the wall in the conversation in the Ramirez household when that news came down that they were going to LA…”
Was Manny misbehaving on purpose?
“That’s certainly the way the Red Sox interpreted it,” Edes said. “[The post-trade phone call] was almost an ‘ah-ha’ moment for them; they said, ‘see?’ And for people wondering why would Scott call after the trade was done, well, as you know, the Red Sox went almost 24 hours before officially announcing the deal … I don’t know if Scott thought there was a window there where the whole thing could have gone away in the first hour, but to me there is a tacit admission there. Maybe there wasn’t any subtlety to it at all, ‘yeah, I’m acting out because you guys aren’t dropping this option.’
“To find out — and Jason Varitek, although he said he didn’t personally witness it, he was aware of it — that Manny wasn’t going to get on the bus to take the team to the airport to go to Seattle and then comes up with a knee injury in Seattle, that tells you pretty much what you need to know.”
Edes also commented on reports that Red Sox owner John Henry wanted to keep Manny in Boston. “It’s absolutely true,” Edes said. “The one part that there hasn’t been any whispers about was that Theo was willing to construct a Red Sox future without Manny Ramirez for years. He put him on irrevocable waivers in 2003, that’s all you need to know, and think about how many times they’ve explored trades. And yes, John Henry has been the loudest voice and certainly the most influential voice in keeping Manny in a Red Sox uniform. And when they met last Wednesday, all the brass met, and Theo, and the baseball ops people, Terry Francona may have been in the meeting as well, John Henry was still resisting the idea of trading Manny and I suppose you could look at this as testament in the kind of autonomy and authority that Theo Epstein now has.”