Sox unaware of Manny's unhappiness

Sox unaware of Manny's unhappiness

ST. PETERSBURG -- During Boston's game against Tampa Bay on July 19, outfielder Manny Ramirez disappeared into the Green Monster scoreboard for a few minutes.

He might have been looking for a new way out of Boston.

According to a report by Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci in the August 1 issue, Ramirez asked Red Sox officials for the third time in four seasons to be traded. He said he is unhappy in Boston, primarily because he feels a lack of privacy off the field.

If he is indeed unhappy, Ramirez has not let his teammates or his manager know.

Manager Terry Francona said before Tuesday's game that he had not heard anything, whether it be from Ramirez or from management.

Francona said Ramirez is "happy enough to drive in 90 runs," and would not worry about what was in the magazine.

"Things like this have a way of sometimes happening in Boston; I just shrug my shoulders and move on," he said. "I've come to learn these things happen and you move on."

According to Verducci, Ramirez asked to be traded during Spring Training of 2002, and again a year later. But when his name surfaced during a possible trade for Alex Rodriguez late in 2003, he asked to stay.

"With A-Rod, I wasn't even here; I was still on the peripheral," Francona said.

Outfielder Johnny Damon, whose usual spot is in center field, next to Ramirez, has not heard or seen any signs his teammate is unhappy.

"Manny seems very, very happy," he said. "Any time Manny comes up, it's something big. He seems happy with driving in his runs."

When asked if he would be surprised if Ramirez had in fact gone to management, Damon answered, "I don't know."

Damon did not sound like he bought into the idea that Ramirez has a privacy problem; he said most ballplayers have a problem with privacy, including himself, David Ortiz, and Curt Schilling.

"Guess what? Manny's a superstar. There's no privacy for him anywhere," Damon said. "Privacy is an issue, but it's not."

Ramirez regularly avoids talking to media before and after games, but Francona said such behavior does not represent a desire to leave Beantown.

"I wouldn't rate a guy's happiness level with how he deals with [the media]. But I don't worry. He's been fine."

Ramirez was unavailable for comment.

Jared S. Hopkins is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.