Chaos erupted at the Winter Meetings yesterday as the Red Sox team of interim general managers finalized trades to three different teams for Manny Ramirez. The communication breakdown between the interim GMs is a major embarrassment for the organization, which scrambled to find a way to fix things and make peace with the teams that will be spurned.
“My cellphone wasn’t working yesterday,” said a humiliated Jed Hoyer, who had Manny traded to the Mets for Carlos Beltran. “It was just the trade we wanted, so I jumped on it. We had everything signed—a done deal! Then I see Bill Lajoie looking into the room from outside the window with a big smile on his face, holding up a sign that said, ‘I just traded Manny!!!’ I almost puked right there.”
But as Lajoie explained that he had Manny traded to the Phillies for Bobby Abreu, his beeper went off. Lajoie, who is 71, admittedly struggles with modern technology, and didn’t even know what the beeper was for. But when Hoyer looked at it, he turned green, seeing that Jeremy Kapstein and Craig Shipley had just completed a trade of Manny to the Angels for several prospects.
“Of course it was a huge embarrassment that this team of nitwits were out there like Lone Rangers making deals without talking to each other,” said Larry Lucchino, who himself was moments away from consummating a Manny trade to the Diamondbacks for Troy Glaus. Even John Henry was close to a deal with Texas. “But before we went back to tell the teams about our colossal blunder, we felt obligated to present each of the trades to Manny, to see which city he preferred.”
And what happened? “The dope rejected all of them,” Lucchino said, shaking his head. “He tells me he wants to go to Kansas City, because it’s close to his wife’s home in Brazil.” He sighed, disgustedly. “Manny might belong in an asylum,” he said, “but I’m going to end up in one first.”