1,183 2/3 ||
MANNY'S MOOD SWINGS
Manny Ramirez (left) wants out of Boston. Again. The Red Sox leftfielder has asked to be traded for at least the third time in the past four seasons. He told team officials he is unhappy in Boston, particularly with his lack of privacy off the field. The Red Sox have no intention of trading Ramirez (.277, 27 homers, 90 RBIs)--not during the season, anyway. They could field offers in the off-season for Ramirez, who is due $57 million over the next three years.
Boston has learned to live with Ramirez's moods in order to keep his bat. He asked to be traded in spring training 2002, and again after the '03 season. However, when Boston agreed in principle to trade Ramirez to Texas as part of the ill-fated Alex Rodriguez deal, Ramirez telephoned owner John Henry late one night pleading to stay.
The weak-hitting Nationals' slim margin for error caught up with them recently, when they lost seven straight one-run games in a 4-12 tumble. Manager Frank Robinson finally benched shortstop Cristian Guzman (below), replacing him with Jamey Carroll. Guzman's hitting woes are plunging to historic depths. Batting .186 through Sunday, he is on pace to become only the sixth player in the past 100 years to hit worse than .190 with 400 at bats, joining Ed Zimmerman (.185 in 1911), Mickey Doolan (.186 in 1915), Eddie Joost (.185 in 1943), Eddie Brinkman (.185 in 1965) and Rob Deer (.179 in 1991).
KNOCK ON WOOD
Remember when Kerry Wood (right) was supposed to be the next Nolan Ryan? At 28, with more shoulder trouble and still without a 15-win season, he now looks like the next Chan Ho Park. Here's how Wood's career numbers resemble those of Park at the same age:
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