Friday, August 01, 2008

The Manny era is over

Still on vacation in New England. Which is a fun place to be when there is all kinds of stuff swirling around the Red Sox. Listening to the talking heads on the local sports radio, reading the local press -- I suspected Manny would be out post-haste. And that's what happened yesterday just as the trade deadline was reached. A multi-team, multi-player sent Manny Ramirez to the LA Dodgers, Hansen & Moss to the Pirates. And we got 2004 Rookie of the Year Jason Bay.

It's been a trying few weeks for the team. Hearing some of the reports today from Gordon Eades and Jerry Remy - the whole team got pushed over the edge in the past few weeks. Eades even reported that, after the series in Oakland, Manny had refused to get on the team bus to leave for Seattle. It had taken several team members to convince him to go. Then there was his refusing to play those games in Seattle and against New York last Friday. His pitiful performance in the games I saw this week. Not the Manny I've always loved and defended.

What changed? I'm not sure we'll ever know. Did Scott Boras whisper something in his ear? Did he misinterpret it? The question clearly came down for the Front Office: can we rely on Manny to continue to perform for the rest of the season?

Reports are that Tito and Theo called in several of the veteran players and asked their opinion. The overwhelming sentiment seemed to be that the players were tired of his antics and tired of having to answer for him in the press. That was clear in the post-game interviews Wednesday night. And look back to Mike Lowell's very uncharacteristic explosion on a third strike call Friday night. You never see him explode like that (last game he was ejected was 2002) - was that frustration we saw?

Meantime, tonight is Jason Bay's first game as a Red Sox. A wonderful, warm ovation for him - and he has a walk and a hit-by-pitch so far. And how can you not love a guy who admits his dad had him wearing a Red Sox onesie?!

Otherwise..

Did the Concord literary sites today. Loved Orchard House, the home in which Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women, and the Wayside, home to the Alcotts, Hawthorne and Margaret Sidney (author of The Five Little Peppers and how they grew). Also visited the Gropius House home of the Bauhaus mainstay Walter Gropius. Big thumbs up on that one.

And I don't think I mentioned one of my favorite finds in Boston: Sweet Cupcakes. YUM! You can get mini-cupcakes, which are a perfect size - or the full sized (I've just enjoyed a dark chocolate one!) If you're in Boston, check it out!

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