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One guy who's not Schilling for Manny

Injured Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling blasted former teammate Manny Ramirez on a Boston radio show yesterday, saying that his strange behavior disrespected both the game and his teammates and put manager Terry Francona in the terribly awkward position of having to put up with that nonsense to keep him in the lineup.

"Nothing makes a guy that respects the game and respects human beings like Terry Francona feel worse than looking at a guy and saying, 'Go ahead, [mess] with me, [mess] with your teammates, I'll put you in the lineup,' and then turn around to a guy who's there every day early working his [butt] off who gets 110 at-bats a year and saying, 'You know what? Yeah, I can't put you in there tonight,'" Schilling said on a sports talk show on WEEI-AM radio.

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"There were times when there were players who were like on fire duty, 'Show up tomorrow. I'm not sure if you're playing or not. We've got to find out what Manny wants to do.' That's not fair to anybody."

If you want to read a more complete account, here's the ESPN.com story.

If you want my rather off-the-wall opinion on the subject, read on.

My feelings are totally mixed on this. I think what Manny did to the Red Sox was reprehensible, but the fact that he did it to the Red Sox and then found a way to also stick it to the Yankees on the way out of town proves that he's got serious game both on and off the field.

Remember, when Manny got traded to the Dodgers, nobody was doing any serious second-guessing of the Yankees for letting Joe Torre go to Los Angeles to lead another team to the postseason. When he entered the starting lineup, they were 54-54 in the weak NL West, two games behind the Diamondbacks and in fifth place in the wild card race.

The Yankees, at the time of the deal, were 12 games over .500 and just three games behind the first-place Tampa Bay Rays, who boasted the second-best record in all of baseball. They have played sub-.500 ball since then (though they still have a better record than the Dodgers) and will fail to reach the playoffs for the first time since there were no playoffs in 1994.

Now, for as long as the Dodgers stay alive in the postseason, they'll be talking about the way Torre was run out of New York by Hank Steinbrenner and Co. You can hate Manny for being Manny, but you've got to thank him for that.

Associated Press photo

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