Last month, Manny Ramirez went a little haywire over a last-second ticket request, shoving the Red Sox’s traveling secretary to the ground. As a result, Sox management decide to fine Manny for misuse of team property (i.e. the shoved secretary).
But there have been questions as to how much money was taken from Ramirez’s paycheck. Was it hundreds of thousands of dollars? And did such a mighty amount mean Manny struck out against the Yankees on purpose?
Such allegations were made by Bob Lobel, former sports director for Boston’s WBZ. The BOSTON GLOBE’s INSIDE BASES reports that Lobel was on WEEI radio Friday morning, and said that Ramirez was slapped with a huge fine for the shove:
“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… “
And how did he apparently act out? By purposefully taking three straight called strikes against the Yankees in a game on July 6:
“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.”
However, the Globe’s Gordon Edes follows up with a report dismissing Lobel’s claims of a $100,000 fine. Industry sourced instead said that the actual fine was in the $10,000 to $15,000 range. But Lobel was correct in saying that the money would be going to charity.
As for Manny’s perceived purposeful strikeout, the Red Sox don’t believe it:
Red Sox officials have not raised the issue that Ramirez’s strikeout against Mariano Rivera in a pinch-hit appearance July 6 was in any way related to the discipline administered.
Good to see things are once again chummy between Manny & the Sox. At least until tomorrow.