Manny Ramirez is “tired” of the Boston Red Sox and would agree to a trade that would make both him and the team happy.
But he doesn’t think it will happen and Boston, battling for a playoff spot, needs the production of its cleanup hitter despite its oft-contentious relationship with him.
Four days before the non-waiver trading deadline, Ramirez said Sunday, “I’m tired of them. They’re tired of me.”
The Red Sox have until Nov. 9 to pick up a $20 million option for next year on Ramirez, who would have to approve any trade as a 10-year veteran with five years on the same team. They also have a $20 million option for 2010. Ramirez is in the final year of his guaranteed eight-year, $160 million contract.
Ramirez spoke for less than two minutes in Boston’s clubhouse before Sunday night’s game with the New York Yankees.
Red Sox owner John Henry, in an e-mail to The Associated Press, responded, “We are concentrating on one thing — a playoff spot.”
On Friday, Ramirez said he couldn’t play because of a sore right knee and manager Terry Francona scratched him from the original lineup. MRIs on both knees then “came back fine,” Francona said, and Ramirez started Saturday and was in the lineup again Sunday.
He also missed last Wednesday’s game at Seattle with what he said was a sore knee. The Red Sox were off Thursday.
Ramirez originally told ESPNdeportes.com on Sunday that he wouldn’t object to a trade if the Red Sox are better without him.
Later, in the clubhouse, he said, “What I said was, if the Red Sox think they can find a trade that’s going to make their team better and both sides are going to be happy, I’m going to agree. But they cannot find a trade. It’s something simple. It’s no big deal.”
Francona said before the game that he wasn’t aware of the ESPNdeportes interview.
And he didn’t know if Ramirez was in a good mood.
“I’m not sure that matters,” Francona said. “I’d take a guy that’s hitting .500 that’s miserable as opposed to a guy that hands out bouquets to his teammates and is hitting a buck 45. ... You move on. The goal is to get better from it. I think we’ve done a good job of that here.”
Ramirez’s remarks came while the Red Sox are struggling and the Yankees are closing in. After New York’s 10-3 win Saturday, New York was 8-0 since the All-Star break and one game behind second-place Boston in the AL East. Tampa Bay leads the Red Sox, who are 3-5 since the break, by two games.
Ramirez asked to be traded after the 2005 and 2006 seasons but doesn’t expect to be traded during this season.
“That’s not going to happen,” he said. “They’re not stupid. Boston is not stupid. They can say whatever they want but when it comes to make a deal, they’re not going to pull the trigger because they know what they got here.”
Ramirez entered Sunday’s game batting .298 with 19 homers and 63 RBIs in 96 games. He has 509 career homers, 23rd on the all-time list and two behind Mel Ott. He hit his 500th on May 31 at Baltimore.
“At the end of the season, all they got to do is call my agent and say, ’Hey, we’re not going to pick up Manny’s option for ’09, he’s going to become a free agent,’ “ Ramirez said. “That’s it. I go my way and you guys go your way, something simple.”
He switched agents this year to Scott Boras from Greg Genske.
Ramirez told the Boston Herald during the All-Star break that he wanted to know what his situation was and that he didn’t want the club to “tell you one thing and behind your back they do another thing.”
Henry said he found that “personally offensive.”
Ramirez said Sunday, “I don’t want to talk to them about contracts right now. So what? Enough is enough. I’m tired of them. They’re tired of me, and after 2008, just send me a letter, whatever.
“You don’t even have to call my agent. ’Thank you for everything, you’re going to become a free agent. We’re not going to pick up your option in ’09.’ “
On Sunday, Ramirez said, “I’m happy, but enough is enough.”
Ramirez told ESPNdeportes that he thinks he has knee tendinitis and denied faking injuries. He also told it he doesn’t have any preference for a team he’d want to be traded to.
“I could choose a team that offers me the best conditions or one in the chase for the postseason,” he told ESPNdeportes. “I don’t care where I play, I can even play in Iraq if need be. My job is to play baseball.”
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