Friday, February 22, 2008

Manny Ramirez Will Leave The Boston Red Sox If They Don't Resign Him

Manny Ramirez claims he loves the Boston Red Sox so much he wants to finish his career with them. However, I question his loyalty. If the Red Sox do not pick up his option in 2009, Manny said he'll join the free agent market.

"I want to stay here, but it's up to them if they want to bring me," Ramirez said. "But if they don't want to bring me back, that's fine. I know I'll be a free agent after '08 so that's another thing that I'm looking forward [to]."

Boston's slugging left-fielder is entering the final season of his eight-year, $160 million contract that has team options for 2009 and 2010 of $20 million each.

There's no rush to pick up the option or extend his contract, and Ramirez has no intention of asking the team to do either.

"It's up to them to say, 'OK, we're going to take [the option]. It's not up to me to go into the office and demand a four-year deal, whatever," he said. "No, I'm going come here to play the game, finish my year. If they want me to come back, I'll come back."

Manny Ramirez


Left Field
Boston Red Sox

2007 Season Stats
127 20 86 79 .385 .292

General manager Theo Epstein also wants to wait.

"We're focused on 2008," Epstein said. "Manny's contract provides for the first of his options to be decided upon at the end of the year and there's a time for that, but it's certainly after the season. And we're looking forward to Manny continuing to work hard and have a great year."

Ramirez had asked to be traded after the 2005 and 2006 seasons. But this offseason passed peacefully, without so much as a peep of dissatisfaction from him.

What changed?

"You start growing up and mature," the 35-year-old Ramirez said.

Now he doesn't want to play anywhere else.

"I want to finish my career here," he said, "but it's up to them. So if that doesn't happen, hey, I'll go and play somewhere else. I know I still can play. What else can I say? It's up to them. I'm not the one who writes the checks."

Right, very mature Manny.

Having Manny Ramirez on your team is the equivalent of having a Terrell Owens or Ron Artest on your team. What you have here is a superstar who allows his skills on the field or court to effect his attitude off the field or court.

Then again, I think Manny is full of himself. He loves the attention. Well, this will certainly make for an interesting story in the years to come.

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