Publicly, the Red Sox front office refers to all players as members of the Red Sox family. But, internally, for David Wells, Julian Tavarez, and Manny Ramirez, they have a less cordial sobriquet: The Psycho Three. John Henry, ever vigilant to prevent any public disasters with his players, recently ordered the front office to draw up elaborate “doomsday” plans for these players, anticipating any and all potential meltdowns that could occur with these men so that precision response plans are already in place.
“For instance,” Larry Lucchino began, in a private conversation with COTGM, “someone in the front office suggested that if David Wells does not meet the required number of starts for his incentive clauses to kick in, it is reasonably possible he could take a Red Sox employee hostage and demand the money. We know he owns guns, we know he’s unstable. How would we handle it?” Lucchino says they have also addressed a number of scenarios involving Wells assaulting umpires, or being found passed-out-drunk and naked on Yawkey Way early in the morning, though he would not discuss specifics.
Julian Tavarez could pose a different set of circumstances, and in fact already caught the team off-guard when he slap-punched Joey Gathright of Tampa Bay in a Spring Training game. “We’ve explored the possibility of him biting an opposing player,” Lucchino said, “in addition to a number of scenarios involving self-inflicted wounds.” Tavarez once broke his hand when punching a phone. “Would he go into the crowd and start firing baseballs at kids if they taunted him? We don’t know, but we need to be prepared.”
And what kind of preparation is being done for Manny meltdowns? “Well,” Lucchino said sadly, “that’s where this whole program kind of falls apart. How the hell do you prepare for a guy’s behavior, when he himself has no idea what he’s going to do from one minute to the next?”