Red Sox Notebook: Manny Switches To Boras

Manny Ramirez said earlier this week he's hoping the Red Sox pick up his option for 2009. But he's got a pretty good ally in his corner in case he has to play hardball with the Sox or anyone else.

As first reported by SI.com, Ramirez this week hired Scott Boras as his agent. The Boston Globe reported Friday it received confirmation of the switch from Sox general manager Theo Epstein.

Ramirez is entering the final guaranteed season of an eight-year, $160 million deal he signed following the 2000 season. His agent at that time was Jeff Moorad, who has since moved to the management side of the equation as the CEO of the Diamondbacks. Ramirez had been represented by Moorad's former associates, Greg Genske and Scott Parker.

Boras, of course, has a reputation for driving a hard bargain and sending his clients to the highest bidder. His ways have made him plenty of enemies in baseball's front offices, but the Sox and Epstein seem to get along better with Boras than most. Several prominent Sox are Boras clients, including Jason Varitek, Daisuke Matsuzaka, J.D. Drew and Jacoby Ellsbury as well as Alex Cora and Julian Tavarez.

Ramirez said he didn't plan to ask the Sox to pick up the option before the end of the season nor ask for a multi-year deal. It remains to be seen, of course, how his attitude will change now that he is employing Boras.


Sox ready to visit White House: Details of the Sox' trip to the White House to visit with President Bush next Wednesday were announced Friday. The Sox will work out in Ft. Myers in the morning before flying to Washington D.C., where they are scheduled to meet with the President at approximately 3:05 p.m. In addition to the players, owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner and president/CEO Larry Lucchino and various members of the front office and ownership group are also scheduled to make the visit.

The Sox will also visit the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where they will visit with wounded soldiers and display the 2007 World Series Trophy, before returning to Ft. Myers Wednesday night.

The visit to the White House is an annual rite for the defending World Series champion. The Sox last met with President Bush Mar. 2, 2005, a little more than four months after they swept the Cardinals in the 2004 World Series.

Reliever Hideki Okajima, one of 15 first-time world champions on last year's Sox, said he is looking forward to the visit. "It's going to be fun," reliever Hideki Okajima told reporters Saturday. "It's such an honorable thing, and you don't have much of a chance to go to the White House. It is a huge honor. It's very honorable—a great thing to meet the President of the United States."


Trot gallops to Arizona: Trot Nixon remained on the free agent market far longer than he wanted or anticipated, but the popular former Sox right fielder signed a minor league deal with the Diamondbacks late Friday.

Nixon told reporters he was about ready to spend the season at home in North Carolina when the Diamondbacks—whose general manager is former Sox assistant general manager Josh Byrnes—called. "It was the only opportunity I had as far as going to camp," Nixon said.

Nixon, who battled back and leg woes during his final three seasons with the Sox, hit just .251 with only three homers in 307 at-bats last season for the Indians. If he makes the Diamondbacks, it'll be as a first baseman—a position he's never played as a big leaguer. But the Diamondbacks want him as insurance there in case starter Chad Tracy is not ready for Opening Day following microfracture surgery on his right knee.


Diehard managing editor Jerry Beach can be reached at diehardmag@yahoo.com. To receive a free issue of Diehard, call 888-501-5752. To subscribe to Diehard or diehardmagazine.com, please CLICK HERE.

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