The Globe this morning runs snippets from Seth Mnnokin’s book, Feeding the Monster, which details the inner workings of the Sox front office since it was taken over by the Holy Trinity (Henry, Lucchino, Werner). Of no surprise to anyone, Mnookin reveals that Epstein left the Sox directly because of the Shaughnessy column but indirectly because of huge trust issues between him and Lucchino, with each feeling the other was using the media to better his own position and trash the other.
Those aren’t the best juicy tidbits in the book, though:
Manny Ramírez asked Henry to be traded on the first day he met the new owner in spring training, 2002: “Look, man, you gotta get me out of here," Ramírez told Henry. “I hate the pressure. I hate the manager [Joe Kerrigan, at the time]."
Other Ramírez tidbits: stat analyst Bill James did a study in the 2003 season in which Ramírez was cited for half of the 60 instances in which Sox players did not hustle, and this spring, after the Sox did not trade him yet again after he’d asked to be dealt, Ramírez directed a rant at the owners in which he referred to them as “[expletive] white devils."
Not sure what to make of that last one, and it’d be nice to know how late in the spring this was, considering his statements through his agent since that he now wants to finish his career in Boston. Perhaps speculation that he’s simply resigned himself to staying here is dead on.
Henry, who felt “pure rage" toward manager Grady Little when he left in Martínez to pitch the eighth inning of Game 7 of the 2003 American League Championship Series against the Yankees, was unhappy with the manager all season. “Henry had taken to joking that if the Red Sox did not win the World Series and he was tapped to star in one of the iconic `I’m going to Disney World,’ commercials, he would instead announce to the world, `I’m going to fire Grady Little.’ "
That’s why John Henry is cool. You get the sense that he’s just a fan like the rest of us, with the money and knowledge to hire good baseball people to put together a winning team. He’s very likable. And who among us didn’t feel "pure rage" (followed by pure despair) during Game 7? It also proves, however, that the Sox did not fire Little for one decision, a myth that has been perpetuated through the national media since. I am curious, though, what NESN’s simulations will show during this "What If …" show. I bet they’ll show a World Series championship.