Gordon Edes, probably the Boston press’ most credible writer — and the one who seemed most certain entering the off-season that Manny Ramirez would be traded — reads the tea leaves of an XM Radio chat between him and Terry Francona and says Manny will stay put.
"I don’t see it happening,” Francona said when asked about the likelihood of a deal. "Everyone hears the whispers. I don’t think it’s any big secret that there are times of the year that he feels Boston is closing in on him.
"But he still shows up to play. You put that bat behind David [Ortiz], that’s when we’re rolling. That’s the biggest part of the devastation of our lineup. Rather than doing something different, you have to swallow, turn your head, take a deep breath. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty good. We all have warts, we’re not perfect.”
That’s a definitive statement as to where the Manny talks stand after two days here in the winter meetings. The Dodgers haven’t talked to the Sox since yesterday, and one Sox source dismissed all the talk about three-way deals involving the Nationals with the (choose one) Angels, Mariners, or Giants.
If true, it’s kind of a relief, although it leaves the Sox out of their best option of getting a closer. Still, the thought of an Ortiz-Ramirez-Drew heart of the order is tantalizing indeed, and certainly better than wondering whether Ortiz has a chance of breaking the all-time walks record.