The Manny Ramirez Saga from last season was one of the bigger storylines enveloping baseball for the latter half of the season. Manny wanted a trade and refused to play and eventually the Red Sox acquiesced and sent him to Los Angeles for 50 cents on the dollar.
But it turns out that there's a little more to the story; in fact, the Red Sox had planned on suspending Manny just a week before dealing him out to the West Coast.
According to multiple sources, Boston management had drafted an official letter of suspension for Ramirez, and delivered it to him at Fenway Park at around 11 p.m. on Friday night, July 25. For the second straight game, Ramirez had refused to play that evening, and the Red Sox lost 1-0 to the rival New York Yankees in front of a boisterous and sold-out home crowd.
The letter informed Ramirez that the suspension was to go into effect the next day, Saturday, July 26. It said Ramirez was being suspended without pay for being unwilling to play. Copies of the letter were also sent to Major League Baseball, the MLB Players Association and Ramirez's agent, Scott Boras.
Now, this is a pretty strong step/statement/what-have-you, and you're probably wondering why we never heard about this during the season. Well -- your good thought process aside -- I was wondering the same thing. Turns out that the Sox got two calls right after delivering the letter. One was from an unnamed player on the team and the other was from Manny, both saying that Ramirez would suit up the following day.
The Red Sox and Manny haven't comment but Boras did say that, "The bottom line is he was never suspended and there was never cause for suspension ...The fact is the intent to suspend is not a suspension." Which, in my mind, basically means "Yes, this did happen."
What's fascinating is that we look at Manny as this celeb type athlete weirdo that just doesn't care about anything, but then you find out that when he gets faced with some quick disciplinary front, his reaction is to back down. Obviously more will come out about this as Manny and the Sox (assuming they don't just go "no comment") actually make statements, but it's a pretty intriguing look into the psyches of one of baseball's biggest names if the rumor turns out to be true.
Manny Ramirez Was About to Be Suspended by the Red Sox Before Getting Traded originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Sun, 16 Nov 2008 18:00:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.