"They haven’t asked me for anything," Ramirez told ESPNdeportes.com’s Enrique Rojas on the phone from Fenway Park before the Red Sox-Angels matchup on Wednesday night.
"The Red Sox don’t deserve a player like me," Ramirez said. "During my years here I’ve seen how they [the Red Sox]have mistreated other great players when they didn’t want them to try to turn the fans against them.
"The Red Sox did the same with guys like Nomar Garciaparra and Pedro Martinez, and now they do the same with me. Their goal is to paint me as the bad guy," Ramirez added. "I love Boston fans, but the Red Sox don’t deserve me. I’m not talking about money. Mental peace has no price and I don’t have peace here."
I won’t pretend to be naive about the Mannynanigans™, but as YF said in a thread a few days ago there is something of a compact between the fans and players, and once that compact is broken the player is finished in the minds of those fans. For all of Manny’s supposedly detrimental actions these past several years (some were more disrespectful than others, depending on your perspective, some were overblown, and some were repellent), this comment seems to be not just a salvo sent towards the front office, but a severance of his connection to the fans. Manny should know that Sox fans are a complicated bunch by now, that we aren’t ignorant of the business side of baseball, and that citing Pedro and Nomar as examples of how poorly the team treats its own isn’t going to get very far. In fact, quite the opposite. With this comment, Manny is isolating himself from the contingent of fans who would go to the mat defending his actions, the diehards who tolerate the machinations of a prima donna because he rakes. With this comment, even those fans (I am not one of them) may loosen the rope and be happy to see the ship sail.
God knows what happens if the ship doesn’t sail, though.