While Terry Francona likely could not have won a World Series with the Boston Red Sox without a slugger like Manny Ramirez, it is a known fact that the former All-Star is the most difficult player he had to deal with during his eight years in Boston. Ramirez wore out his welcome with the Red Sox in 2008 when he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. In his new book, “Francona: The Red Sox Years,” Francona tells a few interesting stories from the “Manny being Manny” era.
In 2008, Ramirez threw a hissy fit and shoved 64-year-old team traveling secretary Jack McCormick to the ground when he was told a late request for 16 tickets to a game against the Houston Astros would not be fulfilled. The now-infamous incident quickly made the rounds through the media after it happened, but Francona gives readers an inside perspective on what went down.
“It took me a few seconds to realize this wasn’t in fun,” Francona said, via Chad Finn of the Boston Globe. “There were not a lot of guys around when I got out there, and I saw Jack leaning against a table, kind of dazed. I grabbed Manny and said, ‘What the [expletive] are you doing?’ I was hoping he wasn’t going to hit me.”
That’s Manny at his worst. Obviously the guy had some issues with his temper. As we know, he also had issues with his effort at various times throughout his tenure in Boston. Like that time in 2006 when he removed himself from a game against the Yankees in the fourth inning.
“I’ll never forget that,’’ Francona said. “He came off the field, walked down the dugout steps, yelled over, and said, ‘Hamstring!’ and I said, ‘Manny, which one?, and he pointed with both hands to both hamstrings. He was like, ‘You pick. [Expletive], I’m coming out. It was funny later, but it wasn’t funny at the time. I had had it with Manny at that point.”
Shoving old guys and faking injuries? Sounds a lot like Manny to me. Francona’s book has already produced some interesting stories about what his life was like in Boston, and there’s likely more to come.
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