Bartolo Colon pitched a complete-game, two-hitter against the visiting Boston Red Sox last night in Chicago and managed to lose. Two bad both hits were solo homers (Kapler, Nixon). The Red Sox beat the White Sox 2-1 behind a strong outing from old man John Burkett; Boston now trails the Yanks by four games (five in the loss column). Manny Ramirez was benched last night, though he appeared fit to play. Manager Grady Little said:
"He's available to DH today," Little said before the game, "but my decision to wait is -- I like the way our club has responded the last few days, and we're trying to win the game. I'm putting the team out there that I think gives us the best chance to win tonight."
That's a good one, huh? The Sox front office does not want to suspend Ramirez. According to their GM, Theo Epstein:
"As a front office, we fully support Grady's decision not to put Manny in the starting lineup tonight," Epstein said. "Grady's going with a lineup that gives us the best chance to win as a team, and tonight that does not include Manny, despite his availability to DH.
"Manny's a big part of this ball club, and we all look forward to getting him back on the field very soon and watching him help this team win some important ballgames. Contrary to some reports, Manny has not been suspended. He's not in the lineup tonight, and we all support Grady's decision."
You think the Red Sox are a better team without Manny? Mmmm. Let's see if they are still a better team without him when they return to New York this weekend. (Manny will probably respond by crushing the Yanks.)
Ramirez might in fact be unhappy in Boston, but this story won't hamper the team. The Sox can roll their eyes and offer the usual, "Manny is Manny," and then sit back enjoy the production he gives them in the middle of the order.