Stained Sox: Red Sox Fading Fast, Need to Make a Move

Jonathon LoughridgeContributor IJuly 30, 2008

Nobody in Boston is talking about the current situation the Red Sox have gotten themselves into. They're all in denial.

The Boston Red Sox were swept by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at home tonight, in what has become a miserable and telling series for the team. Gone are the days of Boston dominating the AL East standings. At least for now.

As it stands, the Sox are 3 games back of the divison-leading Tampa Bay Rays (get used to it), and it seems they've died. they lost two of three to the hated Evil Empire, and were swept by LA, the best team in baseball.

But all is not lost. The Sox are still in second place, and they still have a great chance to win at least the wild card. The problem: Manny Ramirez is still on the team.

Manny has become a clubhouse cancer in the same spirit as a T.O. He has continually talked about wanting out of Boston.

It's about time the Red Sox helped.

Manny is approaching (or may have already reached) the back end of his career. His production is way down. Moreover, he's been lazy on the field. His poor defense and dropping production have already merited a move, but the Sox have been reluctant to move the fan favorite Ramirez.

That needs to change if the Sox want to even get to the playoffs. The Yankees have added Pudge Rodriguez today and Xavier Nady earlier. They've done something to improve their club. Boston has done nothing so far. Trading Manny would help.

Jeremy Hermida is an interesting name that has come up. The Florida Marlins' young power hitter would help the Red Sox down the stretch. He's young, and would help the Sox out.

The trade probably won't happen, since the Marlins are in a playoff race of their own. Manny would seem to be stuck in Boston until his contract is up. The Sox will have a difficult time finding a club to give up players for Ramirez. I don't see a trade with Pittsburgh for Jason Bay, since the Pirates don't have much else they want to give up in their farm system.

The Sox won't want to help Tampa Bay out, so count them out. The Royals won't take him for Jose Guillen or anyone else in the system. Forget the Cubs. Brewers. Cardinals. Reds. Just about everyone else too.

Which means the Sox are stuck with Ramirez. Which isn't good for them. With Captain Cancer still in the clubhouse, there will be a lot of distractions.

It will seem somewhat like the 2005 season. Catcher and team captain Jason Varitek was hurt, and the team fell apart. They still made the playoffs, but were swept by the White Sox in the first round.

This season has a chance to be much worse. With the hard-charging Yankees right behind them and the Rays continuing to win games, the Sox may miss the playoffs.

It would seem a fitting end to the Manny Ramirez saga in Boston.