Manny says he doesn't deserve to be NL MVP, as Schilling calls him out

Updated: September 18, 2008, 4:53 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The media called Manny Ramirez's quirks "Manny being Manny." Curt Schilling sees it differently.

In an interview Wednesday on Boston radio station WEEI-AM, the injured Boston Red Sox starter took his former teammate to task, saying Manny's "level of disrespect to teammates and people was unfathomable."

Ramirez was dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the trade deadline after complaining the team had tried to turn the fans against him and that the Red Sox no longer deserved him. Ramirez was in the last year of his contract, with the team holding two one-year options for $20 million each.

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

--Curt Schilling on Manny Ramirez

In eight seasons in Boston, Ramirez's quirks were widely seen as harmless, or dismissed as a small price to pay for having such a gifted hitter in the lineup. But Schilling, speaking with "Big Show" host Glenn Ordway and former Red Sox players Brian Daubach and Lou Merloni, said Manny's antics disrespected his teammates.

"The guy got to dress in a locker away from the team for seven years," Schilling said. "And then [when] he's on this crusade to get out of here, all of a sudden he's in the locker room every day, voicing his displeasure without even having to play the game that night."

Manny's behavior was hardest on Red Sox manager Terry Francona, Schilling said.

"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.

Crasnick: Leading Man

"Manny being Manny" has taken on new meaning in L.A., where Ramirez has been an RBI machine at the plate and Mr. Congeniality in the clubhouse, Jerry Crasnick writes. Story

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

Ramirez, who hit .299 with a .529 slugging percentage and 68 RBIs in 100 games in Boston, has seen his production skyrocket since joining the Dodgers. In 44 games in L.A., he's hitting .400 (64-for-160) with a .738 slugging percentage and 44 RBIs entering Thursday's games. He's batting .330 for the season overall.

Schilling said his teammates are not angry that Ramirez's power numbers have spiked dramatically since he donned Dodgers blue.

"I wouldn't say [they're ticked], I'd probably say disappointed more than anything," Schilling said. "Because the one thing about Manny is that he was … he was very kind, and well-mannered, but there were spurts and times when you didn't know who he was. You know, he was always kind and nice for the most part, but he'd show up the next day and say, 'I'm through with this team, I want out now.'"

Perhaps it was one of those kinder moments that came through, when Ramirez demurred about talk that he should be voted the NL MVP.

"It's nice that some people think I deserve it," Ramirez said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "I'd like to win it. But I have to be realistic. Someone who was only here for two months doesn't deserve it. It should go to someone who played the six months of the season."

Ramirez also said he knows there's a chance he might never be named MVP. "I've played 16 years, I've been a pretty good player and I've never won it," he said in the Times. "It's not a big deal. I'll go on with my life."

Schilling acknowledged that it was awkward for him to speak out on Ramirez, given the fact that he has missed the entire season with an injury. "I'm the last person in the world who should be telling you who's right and who's wrong in this," he said.

"But I was a teammate, a member of this family, and I saw it … And to me, it was always those guys, the guys who played a crucial role on teams that weren't the marquee players, are the ones that were disrespected the most."

Addressing Merloni, who was a role player in Boston, he said, "Lou, you're in Seattle, and if you refused to get on a team plane, you know what they'd do? They'd give you an Air France ticket home."