Smelling A Rat

Our good friends over at Pink Hat Hell have dared to take on the head of the fanatical wing of Red Sox Nation known as Boston Dirt Dogs, Steve Silva himself after the latest dispatched from Red Sox Nation.

Watch your inbox, guys.

I wonder which mindroastingly annoying situation will be resolved/go away first, the latest Manny Ramirez saga, or Brett Favre’s return to the NFL?

You couldn’t have two more dynamically opposite athletes than those two, and yet in their own ways, they’ve held the sports pages, websites and airwaves captive for the better part of a week now.

Here’s something that I’m having a hard time getting past. Manny switched agents over the winter, and is now represented by Scott Boras. While known as a nightmare to negotiate with, Boras has had a reasonably good relationship with the Red sox front office, as their roster is littered with players from his stable. So why have we not heard about efforts on his part to broker peace between the two parties?

Since Boras did not negotiate Manny’s original contract with the Red Sox, (Jeff Moorad did -who can forget the ESPN “behind the scenes” clips of Dan Duquette’s negotiations with Moorad?) he does not get anything out of this contract, and will get nothing if the Red Sox pick up either of the option years.

It is in Boras’ best interest to see that Manny gets free of the Red Sox and becomes a free agent. It’s the only way he can make money on a Manny Ramirez baseball contract.

Following the All Star break at the outset of the Red Sox West coast road trip, It was reported that Manny met with Boras in California. Just a couple of days later, Manny asked out of the lineup, triggering this latest insane media fracus around the slugger.

Is there any connection between the two events? I’d like to think not, but as coincidences go, this one is pretty tough to ignore.

Manny Madness Reaches New Levels

After another weekend of Manny Madness, the Red Sox managed to salvage one game of the three game set with the New York Yankees last night behind approaching-ace-status lefty Jon Lester, 9-2.

Gordon Edes has the Red Sox restoring a little bit of sanity to their universe with the win last night. Jeff Horrigan has the Sox avoiding the sweep behind some early offense and the strong pitching of Lester. Joe McDonald has Lester coming up big in the series finale for the Sox. Jeff Goldberg has Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz proving again that they are baseball’s most dynamic duo – the question is simply how much longer they’ll be together. Bob Stern has the Red Sox salvaging their dignity with the win last night. Bill Ballou has Lester taking command of the game last night.

Sean McAdam says that Manny and the Red Sox seem to be in sync on getting the slugger out of town quickly. Amalie Benjamin and Gordon Edes assess the Manny situation, noting that the slugger is hurt that the front office and others will never take him at his word when he says he is injured or in pain. Joe Haggerty has Manny challenging the front office to deal him. Rob Bradford has Manny saying that he’ll accept a trade if the Red Sox can find someone to take him. Horrigan has Julio Lugo coming to the defense of Manny, and saying that if he says he’s hurting, he’s hurting. Goldberg has Manny open to a trade following the latest saga.

Dan Shaughnessy actually treads pretty carefully around the Manny subject, but states that the Manny act has gotten tiresome and wonders if Theo Epstein can deal him out of town before the trade deadline as he did Nomar in 2004. Terry Nau wonders if Manny can be salvaged. Steve Buckley says that even the win last night isn’t enough to cure the latest Manny mess. Jeff Jacobs says that the latest Manny mess is grounds for a divorce between the two parties. Stern says we can call it the saga that won’t die until there is a resolution. Alex Speier examines the headache that is managing Manny. Ron Chimelis says that Manny should just let his bat do the talking for him, as he did in the game last night.

Baxter Holmes has Lester able to close down a Yankees rally in the fifth inning. Bradford says that Lester has officially become an ace with his latest performance.

Fluto Shinzawa has a move to the bottom of the lineup benefiting Jacoby Ellsbury. McAdam has more on the move to the bottom of the order working out for Ellsbury last night. Shinzawa has Jed Lowrie focuses on always being prepared, whether he’s playing or not. Kenyon has Ramirez and Ortiz restoring the proper thump to the 3-4 spots in the Red Sox offense.

Holmes has a look at Robinson Cano and his hot streak since the All Star break. Paul Kenyon has this version of the Yankees finding a new path to success. Bill Burt says that the Yankees will be in this race for the long haul. Burt also played word association with Derek Jeter yesterday.

Buckley remembers Russ Gibson, a catcher from the 1967 Red Sox, who passed away at the age of 69 yesterday morning.

Benjamin’s notebook has the Red Sox offense showing some signs of life last night. Horrigan’s notebook has Terry Francona gaining confidence in his bullpen. The Projo notebook has more on Lugo speaking up on behalf of Manny. Goldberg’s notebook has Ellsbury picking up three hits in the nine spot. Burt’s notebook has Lester making a name for himself as one of the better lefthanders in baseball. Chimelis’ notebook has more on the latest Manny mess. Ballou’s notebook has more Manny talking Manny.

Nick Cafardo has former Sox manager Dick Williams talking at the Hall of Fame ceremonies this weekend about his role in creating “Red Sox Nation” back in 1967. Cafardo’s notebook has the Hall honoring the late Globe writer Larry Whiteside with the J.G. Taylor Spink Award.

Patriots

Over on Patriots Daily, Chris Warner kept a running diary from his visit to Patriots training camp last week.

John Tomase has the Patriots adding some solid insurance to their backfield with the addition of LaMont Jordan. Barbara Matson has Jordan eager for a fresh start with the Patriots. Eric McHugh has more on Jordan, who rejoins former teammate Randy Moss here in New England. Rich Garven says that Jordan’s ability to both run and catch made him attractive to the Patriots. Shalise Manza Young has Jordan ready to contribute to the Patriots’ winning ways.

Mike Reiss has the Patriots attempting to keep players healthy in camp by carefully managing their workload. Mark Farinella takes a look at Tank Williams, and how his versatility has already been on display in training camp. Rich Thompson has Pierre Woods opening some eyes and getting some praise from Bill Belichick in camp. Christopher Price has Sammy Morris and Chad Jackson looking to come back strong after an injury filled 2007 season. Thompson also has Heath Evans taking on all comers in blocking drills, but especially relishing matchups with Tedy Bruschi.

Tomase has Bill Belichick taking some time to speak with the fans and sign autographs.

Reiss’ notebook has Nick Kaczur returning to the field at practice yesterday. Farinella’s notebook has Jordan hoping to follow the example of Randy Moss in coming to New England from the Raiders. Tomase’s notebook has Kaczur returning to practice at just the right time for the Patriots. McHugh’s notebook has Jabar Gaffney showing off his skills at practice, and hoping to land a starting spot. Garven’s notebook also has a focus on Gaffney. Young’s notebook has undrafted linebacker Gary Guyton putting in the hard work necessary at camp. 

Weekend Update

Over at Scott’s Shots, David Scott reports that Gordon Edes has finally given his notice at the Globe, and will be done at the end of this month.

On Patriots Daily, Scott Benson has the first edition of The Sunday Links for the 2008 season.