Manny apologizes for shove

Manny apologizes for shove

ST. PETERSBURG -- This time, it didn't happen in the dugout. And this time, it wasn't caught on camera. But for the second time this season, Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez was involved in an altercation involving someone within the organization.

Ramirez pushed long-time team traveling secretary Jack McCormick to the floor in the visitors' clubhouse in Houston on Saturday following a spat over a ticket request.

A contrite Ramirez apologized to McCormick, who is universally popular among the players, later that day.

Ramirez discussed the matter with reporters before Monday night's game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

"In the clubhouse, this is a family and whatever happened in the clubhouse, it stays in the clubhouse," Ramirez said. "Me and Jack, our friendship is good and he's going to continue to be my friend yesterday, today and tomorrow. So everything is fine. What do you want me to tell you?"

Red Sox manager Terry Francona wouldn't say whether Ramirez was -- or will be -- disciplined.

"This is something that actually happened between friends," Francona said. "It was handled. How it was handled, it's private. It's public, because everybody is going to write about it. But we handle things how we handle them and we're comfortable handling them like that."

Francona is always protective of the privacy of the clubhouse, so it wasn't unusual that he wasn't more open with how the matter was handled.

"When things happen with us, we hopefully take things really seriously," Francona said. "Hopefully we deal with things respectfully to all parties. We also do it internally. [I'm] not trying to evade a question, it's telling you how we feel about it."

Why did the incident occur in the first place?

"Don't worry about it," Ramirez said. "That's not your business. I talked to him and everything is fine. We fixed it and that's it. What do you want me to say?"

According to The Providence Journal report, Ramirez asked McCormick for 16 tickets for one of the games in Houston and was upset when the request could not be accommodated.

"It was an unfortunate misunderstanding and it's over with as far as I'm concerned," McCormick told the Journal.

Ramirez said that he discussed the matter with general manager Theo Epstein, who is not with the team on this road trip, via telephone.

On June 5 -- during a home game against the Rays -- Ramirez took a swing at first baseman Kevin Youkilis in the dugout. Though neither player publicly said what caused the incident, it is believed that Ramirez chastised Youkilis for his demeanor following an at-bat. Youkilis is known to take each out extremely hard, and reportedly wasn't pleased when Ramirez judged him for it in the heat of the moment.

That situation definitely didn't linger, as the two players have often been seen chatting and joking in the clubhouse the past few weeks.

Is Ramirez worried that these two incidents will tarnish his image?

"I'm just here to play the game," Ramirez said. "What can I say? I can't worry about what people think."

Despite the latest controversy surrounding him, Ramirez was in one of his typically care-free moods.

"That's it," Ramirez said at the end of the interview. "The soap opera is over."

Several Red Sox players didn't even know about the incident until Monday morning, when The Providence Journal broke the story.

"I don't know how you guys know because I just heard about it," said Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz. "We are a family and we deal with things in here. I wish the media would understand when things like that happen that it's nothing that needs to be out there. It's giving people the wrong idea about what we do here.

"This is a good team and we have a good chemistry. Whatever happens here stays here. Manny and Jack, they're cool with it. We have 30, 40 guys around here a year. It's hard to keep up. I think as a team, we are one of the teams that gets the best out of ourselves. It's because we all get along."

Ian Browne is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.