Manny Ramirez will not be traded. It's official. No more talk of trading Ramirez. He sat out today, and he's sitting out tomorrow according to manager Terry Francona. That hasn't made anyone happy, and David Wells actually spoke up after his great game today to say something about that. If you can aggravate Wells, who is one of the few players to back the Kenny Rogers incident earlier in the season, then it must be pretty important.
I am kind of happy the Sox didn't trade Manny, but I am very unhappy with the fact that Manny sat today and will be sitting tomorrow. Terry: has poor Manny been the subject of too many trade rumors for the past two days? Try being Bill Mueller, who's been in trade rumors week after week. Has he sat? Nope, and he won't be. I am sick of Francona backing his players when they get into a little trouble. Manny doesn't deserve getting the backing of Francona, especially after refusing to play earlier this week. Francona needs to drop the smiley face with Ramirez, and tell him the cold hard truth. Just like what Curt Schilling did recently. Francona needs to step up and tell Manny that it's his team, and he's going to play no matter what.
So no Aubrey Huff, Mike Cameron or Adam Dunn - yet. But good news, folks. We've got Jose Cruz Jr. Yes, the Red Sox pulled a trade off tonight, sending INF Kenny Perez and RP Kyle Bono off to Arizona.
The only good thing about Cruz this season has been his home runs. In 202 at-bats, Cruz has 12 home runs, which is very impressive considering Arizona designated him for assignment recently. He struggles against lefties, though, and seems to have lost speed, as he has no stolen bases this season. Point of this trade? None. We've got Gabe Kapler back and he was impressive tonight. Kapler can platoon with Kevin Millar until Trot Nixon gets back, and John Olerud can man first base for awhile. Cruz will not get much playing time, so I don't see why the Red Sox pulled this trade off.
I've done my share of venting, but there is something to definitely be happy about. Top pitching prospect Jon Papelbon was promoted tonight to start Sunday's game versus the Minnesota Twins. Lenny DiNardo was optioned down to make room for Papelbon.
I'm really excited for this. Papelbon is the future of the Red Sox, and if he has a strong outing he may be able to stick around due to Wade Miller's injury and Matt Clement's head problems. This will be like Abe Alvarez's start last year against the Baltimore Orioles, but it should be easier for Papelbon. The Orioles have a tough lineup, while the Twins are one of the poorest offensive team in the leagues. But he'll have his work cut out for him, as he duels with Brad Radke, one of the best pitchers in the American League. I'm interested to see the velocity that Papelbon will be throwing at tomorrow.
Make sure to tune in tomorrow to see Papelbon, not to see Ramirez, and hopefully see the Sox sweep the series.