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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Jets hit new low in embarrassing loss to Dolphins 10.29.12 at 7:59 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NFL: 49ers at Cardinals, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)


‘™¦ The Jets are the team that just keeps on giving, at least when it comes to making headlines for their silly behavior and tough talk that they have not been able to back up this season. Following a week of trash-talking, mainly emanating from New York, the Jets went out and dropped a 30-9 decision to the visiting Dolphins on an embarrassing afternoon for Gang Green.

“When you’re playing against another team and they’re running their mouth, you’re going to go out and play harder. That’s part of the game,” Dolphins center Mike Pouncey said. “It feels good. We said during the week, if people are going to talk, we’re going to go out there and just play harder.”

Dolphins tailback Reggie Bush, who was in the middle of last week’s back-and-forth, accusing the Jets of trying to hurt him in the teams’ first meeting, had a 19-yard run in the first quarter Sunday before colliding with outspoken cornerback Antonio Cormartie near the sideline. Cromartie then head-butted Bush, earning a flag for unnecessary roughness.

“I ain’t lose my composure,” insisted Cromartie, who dislocated his pinkie on the play. “I just called him a punk, and that’s exactly what he is. I didn’t head-butt him; I pushed him first, then I head-butted him.”

Bush, who yelled at Jets coach Rex Ryan while on the New York sideline, got in the last word. Even though Dolphins rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill was knocked out the game on the first series (injured quadriceps), leaving backup Matt Moore to do most of the damage against the Jets’ once-feared defense, Miami was able to roll, and Bush implied that the Jets (now 3-5) were quitters.

“It’s very satisfying. It’s as good as it gets,” Bush said. “We knew we wanted to jump on them early, and I think we were able to accomplish that. I think once we got on them early, they kind of laid down a little bit.”

Jets fans also quit on their team — at least on starting quarterback Mark Sanchez. The crowd chanted for backup Tim Tebow, and that did not sit well with at least one Jet.

“That chant is BS. … I think the fans are out of place,” wide receiver Chaz Schilens said, acknowledging: “They’re pissed. They have a right to be pissed.”

‘™¦ Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel‘s return to Philadelphia went well, as Atlanta remained undefeated with a 30-17 victory over his former team. After the game, Samuel complained that Eagles coach Andy Reid snubbed him.

Andy Reid, why didn’t you speak to me?” Samuel told reporters. “What did I do to you, man? I’ve got nothing but love for you, Big Red. ‘€¦ He wouldn’t speak to me, man — can you believe that? As happy as I am, he wouldn’t even tell me, ‘Great game, Asante, I love ya, man.’ ”

Samuel, who said maybe it was his celebratory dancing that “got to [Reid] a little bit,” was asked about the difference between the teams.

“I think it’s the coaching,” said the onetime Patriot. “We’ve got really good coaching.”

‘™¦ Manny Ramirez apparently hasn’t given up on his baseball career. The former Red Sox slugger, twice banned by Major League Baseball for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, reportedly will play for Las Aguilas in his native Dominican Republic in an effort to impress three Japanese teams that have shown an interest.

According to the New York Post, the 40-year-old Ramirez is scheduled to fly from his home in Florida to the Dominican Republic on Monday to join the team, which already has begun its winter league season.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Oct. 29, 1996, as part of the NBA’s 50th anniversary celebration, the league announced its list of the 50 greatest players in NBA history. The list included a number of Celtics — nine who played all or most of their career with the C’s, one who played five of his 13 NBA seasons in Boston, three who played two seasons or less with the Celtics, and one who had not yet played in Boston but made a brief stop here before retiring. Who are they?

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Read More: Andy Reid, Antonio Cromartie, Asante Samuel, Manny Ramirez
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Manny Ramirez not ready to return to majors 05.29.12 at 7:44 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Tigers at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLB: Yankees at Angels, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA playoffs: Thunder at Spurs, 9 p.m. (TNT)


‘™¦ Manny Ramirez is eligible to return from his 50-game suspension Wednesday, his 40th birthday, but the Athletics announced Monday night that the former Red Sox slugger will instead continue to play for Triple-A Sacramento.

Assistant general manager David Forst said the A’s “will continue to monitor Manny’s progress on a day-to-day basis in hopes of bringing him to Oakland just as soon as he is ready to contribute at the major league level.”

Ramirez is 8-for-32 with no extra-base hits and seven strikeouts in nine games at Triple-A. He had two singles Monday and sounded encouraged. “The more pitches I see, the better I get,” he said.

Ramirez, who hasn’t appeared in a major league game since last April with the Rays, preached patience and said he wants to make the most of this opportunity to return to the game.

“When you’re doing something for so long, almost 19 years, and you don’t have it, you’re going to miss it,” Ramirez said. “But thanks to God, God gave it to me back. And every day, doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad, I enjoy myself.”

‘™¦ Barry Bonds made an appearance Monday at AT&T Park in San Francisco, stopping in the Giants clubhouse before the game and being surprisingly polite to the media. Although he apparently has no close relationships with any current Giants players, Bonds was a welcome visitor.

“We enjoy it when he comes around,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “If Barry wants to do that, that’s great. If he wants to get back in the game. I’m sure he misses it.”

Bonds, the all-time home run leader in the majors, never officially retired from baseball.

“I’m not playing anymore, so whatever you want to call it,” Bonds said. “I don’t know. I’ll let the Giants figure that one out for me.”

As for his legal troubles, Bonds was asked if he had regrets about being involved with BALCO.

“I’m a convicted felon for obstruction of justice, and that’s who I am,” he said. “I live with it. ‘€¦ I went through the system. That’s what they gave me. I’m in appeal right now. I was never convicted of steroids.”

‘™¦ Inspired by the Spurs’ perfect record in this year’s NBA playoffs, Real Clear Sports has a list of the top 10 most dominant postseasons. The 1976 Reds are No. 1, ahead of the 2001 Lakers and the 1989 49ers. No local teams made the list, but a few squads that beat Boston teams in the playoffs did, including the 1985 Bears (5), the 1999 Yankees (7), the 1968 Canadiens (9) and the 2005 White Sox (10).

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 29, 1984, the Red Sox held their first official number retirement ceremony, honoring two men: Ted Williams (No. 9) and who else?

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Read More: Barry Bonds, Manny Ramirez,
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Wild sign 51-year-old senior league goalie as backup 11.24.11 at 8:01 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NFL: Packers at Lions, 12:30 p.m. (Fox; WEEI)
NFL: Dolphins at Cowboys, 4 p.m. (CBS; WEEI)
NFL: 49ers at Ravens, 8 p.m. (NFL Network; WEEI)
College basketball: Boston College vs. St. Louis, 2 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: UMass vs. Florida State, 4:30 p.m. (Versus)


‘™¦ The Wild were in a bind before Wednesday’s game against the Predators when starting goalie Nicklas Backstrom had to leave the team to address a personal issue. They summoned Matt Hackett from their minor league team in Houston, but they weren’t sure if his plane would arrive in time for him to serve as the backup to Josh Harding. So, they called Richard Deutsch, a 51-year-old who was a high school teammate of Wild assistant coach Mike Ramsey. Deutsch, a screen printer who plays in a local senior league, had some experience filling in for Wild goalies at practices on an emergency basis, even though he only starting playing the position at the age of 37 when his senior team was shorthanded at the position. Wednesday’s experience was a little different than a practice, however.

‘€œPractice is one thing,” he said. “I have to tell you, the game faces are on, and I don’€™t see those very often. Usually it’€™s a practice, and we’€™re calm and we’€™re laughing and we’€™re ha, ha, ha. But game day is a lot different, so I’€™m trying to stay out of the way and not get in any trouble.’€

After Deutsch ‘€œlet the guys fire away’€ on him during warmups, Hackett arrived and was able to suit up in time to take the 51-year-old’s place. But Deutsch still got to say he signed an NHL contract, which he did just before the league deadline of 4 p.m. for him to be eligible that night.

‘€œI actually was shaking while I was signing,’€ said Deutsch, who filled in ‘€œMinnesota Roosevelt Junior Varsity defenseman — 1978,’€ as his previous team on the contract.

‘™¦ Giants running back Brandon Jacobs continued to voice his frustration with home fans who boo the team, as they did in Sunday’s loss to the Eagles. ‘€œWe try to work hard and overcome adversity and they make it even harder for us to overcome our adversity when they do things like that,” Jacobs said Wednesday on WFAN radio, echoing his criticism from after the game. ‘€œAs a player we don’€™t want to hear that.”

Added Jacobs: ‘€œI’€™m not saying I don’€™t care about our fans. When we’€™re down and going through adversity we need them to lift us up, not kick us down. That’€™s all I’€™m trying to say. We do have great fans and I’€™ve witnessed that as well throughout my seven years here. The things we’€™re going through this year, as far as playing at home, the negativity. We don’€™t want to hear things like that when we’€™re playing at home and we’ve still got a chance to win. It’€™s really hard. That’€™s all I’€™m saying.”

‘™¦ In honor of the new Muppets movie, Baseball Prospectus matches Muppets characters to major league baseball players. For example, clean-cut Kermit the Frog best compares to Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. And the egomaniacal, arrogant Miss Piggy is best represented by Alex Rodriguez. Three former Red Sox make the list: Manny Ramirez is compared to the oddball Gonzo, Jonathan Papelbon is a match with the zany Animal, and Adrian Beltre fits as Pepe the King Prawn.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 24, 2005, the Red Sox traded prospects Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, Jesus Delgado and Harvey Garcia to the Marlins for Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell and which third player who never pitched for the Sox but remains active in the majors?

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Read More: alex rodriguez, Brandon Jacobs, Derek Jeter, Jonathan Papelbon
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Manny Ramirez wants to return to baseball this winter 09.21.11 at 7:42 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Orioles at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)


‘™¦ Former Red Sox star Manny Ramirez, who retired in April after reportedly testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs, apparently wants to return to baseball. Winston Llenas, president of the Cibao Eagles in the Dominican Republic, told The Associated Press Tuesday that Ramirez has expressed a desire to play for his former team in his home country. Llenas said the 39-year-old wants to “play before the Dominican fans and to perhaps motivate other major league stars to also play in the country.”

Ramirez, who is facing charges in Florida after allegedly hitting his wife last week, had some support from his former teammates on the Dodgers. Said Matt Kemp: “It shows he loves this sport a lot.” Added James Loney: “It’s good any way you look at it. Manny loves baseball and the Dominicans love Manny.”

‘™¦ Someone stole the glasses off a statue of late Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell in front of Detroit’s Comerica Park. A new pair is being prepared and will be secured as tight as possible. “Fans go a little overboard,” team spokesman Ron Colangelo said. “As much as we can, we hope the public will appreciate it enough to just admire it.”

‘™¦ The Chargers have been accused of faking an injury to slow down the Patriots during Sunday’s game. On Monday, two Giants players suddenly dropped to the ground and appeared to fake injuries to stop a Rams drive, leading to the Rams filing a complaint with the league office. In The Los Angeles Times, Ron Farmer looks at the “no-shame defense” and if there’s anything the NFL can do to prevent it.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Sept. 21, 1985, Wade Boggs set a Red Sox record when he recorded his 223rd hit of the season (he would finish with 240). Whose record did he break?

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Read More: Blake Griffin, Ernie Harwell, Manny Ramirez,
LEEInks list: Best starts in Red Sox uniform over last half decade 06.11.11 at 12:39 pm ET
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Adrian Gonzalez is off to a scorching start in his first season in a Red Sox uniform. The powerful first baseman is leading the American League in RBI (57) and is also in the top 5 in batting average (.338) as of Saturday. If Gonzalez were to keep up that type of production for the remainder of the season, an American League MVP award could be in his future. But where would it rank among the greatest first seasons in Boston? To help answer that question, here’€™s a look at the top 10 first full individual seasons in a Red Sox uniform since 1961. (Apologies to Ted WilliamsJimmie Foxx and Cy Young, each of whom could have earned spots on this list without the time restricition.)

10. Bill Mueller 2003, .326, 19 HR, 85 RBI

The former Red Sox third baseman is probably most remembered in Boston for his base hit that drove in Dave Roberts to send Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS into extra innings, but what a year he had in 2003. Signed as a free agent in the offseason, Mueller was expected to be a sure-handed third baseman who would do nothing more than just hold his own at the bottom of the Red Sox order. Instead, he exploded for career highs in not only average, home runs and RBI but also hits (171), runs (85) and doubles (45). His .326 average beat out Manny Ramirez (.325) and Derek Jeter (.324) by just points for his first and only batting crown.

9. Jonathan Papelbon 2006, 0.92 ERA, 35 saves, ROY runner-up

Before Papelbon made ‘€œShipping up to Boston’€ a fixture of the Fenway Park experience, he was a starter-turned-reliever coming into the 2006 season that came in and took the closer spot from Keith Foulke. From there, the hard-throwing righty flourished in the role that he still holds to this day. He allowed earned runs in just six of his 59 appearances (68 1/3 innings) and also walked only 13 batters over that span. A shoulder injury kept him from pitching in September and may have kept him from securing the Rookie of the Year award (won instead by Detroit pitcher Justin Verlander), but the fact remains that Papelbon’€™s 2006 campaign may have been the best ever by a rookie closer. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: adrian beltre, Adrian gonzalez, Fred Lynn, Manny Ramirez
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Michael Vick protests dog-fighting cell phone app 04.26.11 at 7:50 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL Playoffs: Bruins at Canadiens, 7 p.m. (NESN)
MLB: Red Sox at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. (NESN Plus; WEEI)


‘™¦ Michael Vick is speaking out against a cell phone app in which players train dogs to fight. The Eagles quarterback, who serve 21 months in prison for his role in a dog-fighting ring, joined the Humane Society in criticizing the designer of “Dog Wars” and calling for the removal of the game. “This app just sends the wrong message,” Vick said in a statement.

Kage Games, the company that designed the app, insisted it was “a satire” and that a portion of proceeds were intended to go to animal rescue organizations. “We are confident in humankind’s ability to distinguish between a rudimentary game and the consequences of real life,” the company said in a statement.

‘™¦ There are a couple of interesting articles about former Red Sox sluggers worth a look. In The New York Times, Sara Rimer writes about Manny Ramirez‘ innocent high school days in New York City. In the Reno Gazette-Journal, Chris Gabel writes about Wily Mo Pena, who is tearing it up for the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A team.

‘™¦ The NCAA released a Notice of Allegations against Ohio State for improper behavior by its football program, and it indicates that coach Jim Tressel‘s lies are “potential major violations.” At Fox Sports Ohio, Bruce Hooley writes that Tressel should resign, but he explains why the school won’t fire him in the meantime.

‘™¦ With the Dodgers’ and Mets’ financial troubles drawing concern around baseball, Real Clear Sports has a list of 10 sports franchises that filed for bankruptcy. The Penguins appear on the list twice. There are no Boston entrants.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 26, 1995, the Red Sox signed which free agent pitcher who would go on to a successful career in Boston?

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Read More: Jim Tressel, Manny Ramirez, michael vick, wily mo pena
Rays upset with home fans for booing Manny Ramirez 04.06.11 at 9:33 am ET
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Rays manager Joe Maddon came to the defense of Manny Ramirez after the former Red Sox slugger was booed by the home fans Tuesday while going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts as Tampa Bay lost for the fourth time in four games this season.

Ramirez signed a $2 million free agent deal with the Rays in the offseason. He has just a single and one RBI in 16 at-bats.

“I want the fans to know he works, this man really works, this man really cares,” Maddon said. “It’s not working for him right now, but he’s going to be just fine. ‘€¦ We need to let him be himself and let Manny be Manny and go up there and not try to carry us. The last thing I want him to do is feel like he has to carry us.”

Added outfielder B.J. Upton: “Here’s a man who has had an unbelievable career. This game is not easy. His start obviously hasn’t been what people wanted it to be. But if everybody could do it, everybody in America would be playing right now. They’re not and he’s done it for 16 years. So that bothered me a little bit. Because I think if you’re a true baseball fan, you know what type of player he is and the type of damage he can do. It’s way too long of a season to be booing somebody right now. That I do not understand, not one bit.”

Read More: Joe Maddon, Manny Ramirez, Rumor Mill,
Friday’s Morning Mashup: HS basketball player dies after hitting game-winner 03.04.11 at 7:07 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Warriors at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)
MLB Preseason: Red Sox at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (NESN)

NHL: Penguins at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
MLB Preseason: Red Sox (SS) at Orioles, 1:05 p.m.
MLB Preseason: Marlins at Red Sox (SS), 1:05 p.m. (NESN)

NBA: Celtics at Bucks, 9 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)
MLB Preseason: Red Sox at Mets, 1:10 p.m. (NESN)


‘™¦ A high school basketball player in Michigan died Thursday night after hitting the game-winning shot that capped his team’s undefeated regular season. Shortly after he was lifted up by teammates in celebration while fans rushed the court, 16-year-old Wes Leonard of Fennville High School collapsed. He was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead.

Leonard, a 1,000-point scorer, also was an honorable mention all-state quarterback on the school’s football team.

‘™¦ Steve Mandl, who coached Manny Ramirez at George Washington High School in New York and has been at the school for 27 seasons, is fighting a one-year suspension he received for violating the league’s prohibition on recruiting.

‘™¦ blog has the story of two girls from Southern California, Ghazaleh Sailors and Marti Sementelli, who play varsity baseball at different high schools. On Saturday, the two are scheduled to be the starting pitchers against each other, making it the first time two girls take the mound as starters on opposing teams.

‘™¦ The University of Oregon football team is taking some heat for paying $25,000 to a Texas man, Will Lyles, who claims to run a scouting service but reportedly steers players to colleges. Oregon also paid a lesser fee to a former University of New Hampshire player, Baron Flenory, who runs camps and has close relationships with recruits. Flenory played at UNH when current Oregon coach Chip Kelly was an assistant for the Wildcats.

‘™¦ Forbes magazine has a look at the top 10 highest-paid college basketball coaches. Kentucky’s John Calipari is No. 1 at $4 million per year. Next up are Michigan State’s Tom Izzo ($3.4 million) and Florida’s Billy Donovan ($3.3 million).

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On March 4, 1984, which former Red Sox catcher was named to the Baseball Hall of Fame?

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Read More: Baron Flenory, Chip Kelly, Ghazaleh Sailors, John Calipari
LEEInks List: Most shocking trades of this century in Boston sports 02.28.11 at 2:28 pm ET
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The Celtics‘€™ trade of Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to the Thunder for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic on Thursday marked the second surprising trade of the winter for Boston sports teams. Back in December, the Red Sox got Adrian Gonzalez from the Padres for prospects Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo and Reymond Fuentes. That got us thinking about other shocking trades by the hometown teams this century. Here are the top dozen.

12. Nov. 24, 2005: Sox land Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell

Top prospect Hanley Ramirez had been mentioned in a number of rumors, but it appeared that he was pretty much untouchable. That was until the Sox sent the shortstop to the Marlins — along with prospects Anibal Sanchez, Jesus Delgado and Harvey Garcia — in exchange for Beckett, Lowell and reliever Guillermo Mota. As expected, Ramirez turned into a superstar, but Beckett and Lowell became key parts of the 2007 World Series team. Most would probably agree that this deal was a win-win.

11. Nov. 28, 2003: Curt Schilling comes to Boston

Schilling was just one year removed from back-to-back 20-win seasons and consecutive Cy Young runner-ups when the Sox acquired him from the Diamondbacks for pitchers Casey Fossum, Brandon Lyon and Jorge De La Rosa. Lyon and De La Rosa went on to have serviceable careers, but Schilling helped lead the Sox to two World Series titles, posting another 20-win season and Cy Young runner-up in 2004 along the way.

10. Sept. 18, 2009: B’€™s ship Phil Kessel to Toronto

The Bruins sending Kessel to the Maple Leafs wasn’€™t a total shock because everyone knew the B’€™s probably wouldn’€™t be able to keep all three of Kessel, David Krejci and Milan Lucic long term. But it’€™s still surprising any time you trade a 21-year-old former fifth overall pick who was the leading goal-scorer on your first-place team the previous season. The deal ended up looking much better when the first-round pick Boston got in return turned out to be the second overall selection, which became Tyler Seguin.

9. March 6, 2000: Ray Bourque heads to Colorado

The trade itself wasn’€™t shocking ‘€” everyone knew Bourque wanted a chance to win the Stanley Cup and everyone knew the Bruins were happy to accommodate the legend ‘€” but just seeing Bourque in another jersey was. After 21-plus seasons in Boston, Bourque was sent to the Avalanche along with Dave Andreychuk in exchange for Brian Rolston, Martin Grenier, Samuel Pahlsson and a first-round pick. Bourque and the Avs went on to win the Cup the next season.

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Read More: Curt Schilling, Joe Thornton, kevin garnett, Manny Ramirez
Report: Manny Ramirez expresses interest in Blue Jays 10.27.10 at 10:35 am ET
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According to a report, 12-time All-Star Manny Ramirez is eyeing a return to the American League East with the Blue Jays. Ramirez, who will soon be a free agent, made comments on Tuesday praising the club’s decision to hire former Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell as their manager.

“John has tremendous knowledge of the game, a very pleasant man, and he trains ballplayers,” Ramirez said. “Toronto has made a great acquisition. Farrell is a manager for whom I would like to play, and Toronto is a team I’ve liked since they had all those Dominican players in the ’80s.”

Farrell became the Red Sox pitching coach after the 2006 season. Ramirez played for the Red Sox from 2001-08, before being dealt to the Dodgers at the ’08 trade deadline. In the middle of 2010, the Dodgers then moved Ramirez to the White Sox for the remainder of the season. In a season shortened by injuries, he hit nine home runs with 42 RBI in 90 games. The 38-year-old had surgery two weeks ago for a hernia suffered during the season.

Read More: john farrell, Manny Ramirez, Rumor Mill,