“It just takes one guy to bring an entire team down, and that’s exactly what was happening,” Papelbon said, according to the magazine. “Once we saw that, we weren’t afraid to get rid of him. It’s like cancer. That’s what he was. Cancer. He had to go. It [stunk], but that was the only scenario that was going to work. That was it for us.”
The Red Sox dealt Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers at last season’s trade deadline after a messy divorce, in which the Red Sox believed Ramirez — who had a pair of $20 million team options slated for 2009 and 2010 — was trying to play his way out of town so he and his agent, Scott Boras, could test free agency during the offseason.
Ramirez eventually signed a two-year, $45 million offer with the Dodgers — the only team known to have offered him a deal.
“He was on a different train!” Papelbon said of Ramirez, according to Esquire. “And you saw what happened with that. We got rid of him, and we moved on without him. That comes from the manager, and it comes from guys like Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield and David Ortiz. Nobody is ever going to be allowed to do that.”
“So Manny was tough for us,” Papelbon added, according to the story. “You have somebody like him, you know at any point in the ball game, he can dictate the outcome of the game. And for him not to be on the same page as the rest of the team was a killer, man!”
But the atmosphere in the clubhouse changed after the trade, Papelbon said, according to Esquire.
“And after, you could feel it in the air in the clubhouse,” he said, according to the magazine. “We got Jason Bay — Johnny Ballgame, plays the game right, plays through broken knees, runs out every ground ball — and it was like a breath of fresh air, man! Awesome! No question.”
I hate Jonathan Papelbon so I’ll defend Manny Ramirez, even if there is nothing to defend. Sure, he dogged it while playing for the Red Sox, but — let’s face it — he has wanted to leave the Sox for years. This wasn’t an overnight issue, and I think Jonathan Papelbon sounds like an idiot for simplifying that which isn’t simple. The Manny-Boston pairing was a complicated relationship to say the least.
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