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Despite being one of the best hitters in baseball, and producing as usual through 100 games in Boston last season, Manny Ramirez was to blame for the Red Sox trailing the Rays by three games in July. This according to Jonathon Papelbon in the latest issue of Esquire: ↵
↵⇥"It just takes one guy to bring an entire team down, and that's exactly what was happening," the right-hander told the magazine. "Once we saw that, we weren't afraid to get rid of him. ... He had to go. It (stunk), but that was the only scenario that was going to work. That was it for us." ↵⇥

↵⇥"He was on a different train!" Paplebon said. "And you saw what happened with that. We got rid of him, and we moved on without him. That comes from the manager, and it comes from guys like Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield and David Ortiz." ↵⇥

↵Hmmm, let’s see here. Paps is really smart and all, so I wouldn’t wanna question him, but if Manny was what was bringing the team down, shouldn’t said team have done better without him? Because on July 31st, when Manny was traded, the Red Sox winning percentage was at .61, and they were three games back. At season’s end, they were at 58% and two games behind the Rays. ↵

↵But yeah, Manny was certainly on a different train than any of the Red Sox players, considering he finished the season with better numbers than anyone on Boston’s roster. Of course, you can’t measure being a likeable teammate with something as silly as statistics. Which is why Jason Varitek still has a job. ↵


↵(Headline reference for those who don't live on the internet.) ↵


This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.