Another wild and crazy night in Tampa, Matt Clement is in the hospital, Trot is injured, Manny wants out…again, another Manny comes on the scene, and there was even a baseball game.
It just doesn’t seem like the Red Sox and Devil Rays can ever just play a normal game. Weird stuff always happens when these clubs hook up. Last night…I’d be here writing through the morning if I tried to chronicle everything that happened, so I’ll leave it to the experts. Chris Snow looks at the Red Sox sticking together after losing Matt Clement to the hospital when a line drive struck him off the head. Michael Silverman writes that this one was all-century-caliber in the drama department. Steven Krasner looks at the Red Sox overcoming the loss of Clement last night, but pondering what his loss may mean for the roster if he is out for any length of time. David Heuschkel looks at the heroics of Johnny Damon in the late innings, with both his glove and his bat, to help the Red Sox pull out the win. David Borges also reports on the Red Sox triumphing over near-tragedy last night in Tampa. He says in his game story that Lenny DiNardo, who has been a starter for Pawtucket will be called up in time for today’s game, presumably to replace Clement on the roster.
Gordon Edes reports on Clement, his condition and those who spoke to him last night. He gets the opinions of a neurosurgeon and recounts similar episodes in Red Sox history. Tony Massarotti reports that the initial prognosis and reports on Clement are positive. Heuschkel also has a report on Clement, and the scary circumstances of his exit from the game. He looks over the replays and talks to some players and umpires on the field who saw…and heard…what happened. Edes also has a second article on the situation, getting reaction from Clement’s teammates and the home plate umpire about the incident. He also looks at how his teammates rallied in the late innings and what Dale Sveum was thinking when he sent John Olerud in from third.
The other news from yesterday was a Tom Verducci report on SI.com that Manny Ramirez had asked to be traded. Massarotti writes a disgusted article, not just at Ramirez but at all the Red Sox, who he likens to a “collection of irresponsible teenage nitwits“. He says that there is no escape for Manny and that despite their accomplishments, the Red Sox cannot get make “us” take them seriously. Is he referring to the media? To the fans? The other papers have their short reports on the trade request, Krasner says that if Manny is unhappy, he is typically unaffected by it at the plate. Heuschkel says there wasn’t much reaction from the Red Sox clubhouse, but no denials, either. Silverman notes that even David Ortiz was unsure of any request or unhappiness from Ramirez. Borges also has a report on the situation. The story also makes the Inside Track, where they wonder if it was they who made Manny unhappy by asking if his wife is pregnant.
When the report became known, it of course dominated the airwaves in Boston. During the Big Show, when a caller stated that Ramirez is worth the money because baseball is about entertainment, and Manny is always entertaining, after he hung up, Butch Stearns said the following:
Stearns: Oftentimes I end up in conversations, barroom type conversations, about Manny about other stuff, that we end up talking about in our business and we