06.20.05 Afternoon

John Tomase tears into Manny Ramirez today, claiming that Ramirez simply does not care at all about baseball this season.

Among the quotes from this piece:

Players who care don’t leave games after getting hit by pitches that wouldn’t have hurt a Little Leaguer. Players who care don’t seek days off like the office hypochondriac.

Ramirez has done all of these things in a brazen affront to the organization and a metaphorical middle finger to its fans. The days of writing off his behavior as quirky are over. He’s robbing the Red Sox and more than indirectly contributing to the cost of baseball’s highest tickets.

Later on, he adds:

So while the fans take out their frustration on players like Millar and Mark Bellhorn, who barely make $6 million a year between them, Ramirez coasts along, hitting .260, disappearing in the clutch and taking the occasional day off.

He does note that Manny has actually only missed four games this season, so I’m a little confused as to how Manny is taking these “occasional” days off. It’s also interesting that Tomase claims the pitch that hit Manny over the weekend wouldn’t have hurt a little leaguer, while one of Ramirez’s teammates, who probably has a better knowledge of the situation said in Gordon Edes’ column this morning,

“Don’t be too hard on Manny,” one teammate advised. “He got hit pretty good. He wouldn’t have been of much use to us.”

Interestingly, on the occasions in the past when Manny has been out of line, you’d be hard pressed to find a teammate sticking up for him. This time it appears to be legit. I’m not sure why Tomase has chosen this incident to make this fuss, as that pitch certainly looked like it hurt. It appeared to bounce right off the ankle or shin bone.

Mike Fine looks at the Red Sox heading into Cleveland, and looking to to improve their road record, which has been pretty poor the last couple years. Bob Stern examines the Red Sox ability to take care of business at home while struggling on the road. Alan Greenwood revisits the Red Sox win over the Pirates yesterday to cap off a strong homestand. Fine’s notebook looks at the Red Sox reserves stepping up. Greenwood’s notebook examines the Red Sox road woes and how they plan to rectify it.

Mike Reiss has decided to take a short posting break on his Blog, from today until around July 8th, likely gearing up for the beginning of training camp next month. So where are Patriots fans going to get their news the next few weeks? Mike promises to brings us any major news as it happens.

Finally today, a request from David Scott of Scott’s Shots. He’d like anyone who personally watched the Michael Holley/Dan Shaughnessy confrontation on late night television last night to write in with their observations. He says:

You can call it an “Experiment in Community journalism where we take a SportsNation approach to a local sports media-related ‘event’. Just taking the pulse of a niche group on an item or some worthiness.”I’ll compile the responses we get (by 11 p.m. tonight, or so?) and we’ll post something at Shots in the morning.

You can send your thoughts and observations to [email protected]

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