I’ll reserve judgment over the latest contretemps regarding Manny Ramírez. But I do want to flag an unsettling quote from Bob Lobel in Dan Shaughnessy’s column today.
It was Lobel, formerly of WBZ-TV (Channel 4), who took to WEEI Radio (AM 850) earlier in the week to report that Ramírez had (a) been fined six figures for shoving traveling secretary Jack McCormick and (b) infuriated management by taking three straight called strikes from Mariano Rivera to protest his punishment. Now Red Sox officials are denying it — especially (b).
Here’s Lobel talking to Shaughnessy:
I don’t think this is false information. It’s not something I’d make up. It didn’t come to me in a dream. I know it’s not in their best interests to talk about this, but I’m pretty confident with what I said.
Whoa. Lobel doesn’t think this is false information? Now, there’s a lofty standard. Given that Gordon Edes has reported the fine was about 10 percent of what Lobel claims, I think Lobel owes us more, although he obviously can’t out any anonymous sources he may have.
As for Manny looking at three straight pitches, I watched that game, and yes, it was disconcerting. But Ramírez had preceded that with some big-time loosening-up in the on-deck circle. If he were trying to send a message to management, you’d think he’d just kneel there, immobile.
I forget who the television analyst was, but his explanation that Manny was looking for a pitch in a specific location made sense to me. When Rivera is on, he’s not exactly easy to hit.
Sorry for the relative dearth of links. I’m having Internet problems today.