Sunday, November 09, 2008

I'm With The Spaceman

Bill "Spaceman" Lee holds court at the Red Sox Hall of Fame Induction Gala. (Brita Meng Outzen/ 'Spaceman' lands in Sox Hall of Fame
Lee offers plenty of opinions during induction Friday night

The July 31 trade that sent Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers? That is a highly sore subject for Lee.

Perhaps it takes a free spirit like Lee to completely understand a free spirit like Ramirez.

"Manny was well loved, and then he'd have his little fits, and then we'd patch things up and we'd win a world championship," said Lee. "This year, I think Boston just kind of got fed up with winning. That's too bad."

The way Lee sees it, the Red Sox would have repeated as World Series champions if they had ignored all of Ramirez's off-field antics and just kept him around.

"We could have been world champions again," roared Lee. "And then he wouldn't have hit those 6-irons into the wind against the Cubs; he would have hit them against Tampa Bay. And we wouldn't be having this conversation right now. A prophet in his own time is not well received in this town. I was, for nine years and 142 days. And I told everybody on [sports radio station WEEI] and everything that they would not win it without Manny Ramirez. They told me to shut up. I told them, 'You guys don't like to win, do you?'

"He's the greatest hitter I ever saw. I loved the guy. He's a prima donna, and he pushed down the traveling secretary. Well, you pick the traveling secretary up, and you dust him off, and you apologize and you go back to work. He's the greatest I ever saw. I like Jason Bay. I'm not saying anything disparaging against Canadians, because I've married two of them."

Even Ramirez taking games off with injuries that didn't seem to be more than routine nags was no offense to Lee.

"He always took August off," said Lee. "In France, they give you a month vacation and give you two hours for lunch."

Even more entertaining -- or outlandish -- was Lee's take on what the Red Sox should do this offseason.

"Sign Manny Ramirez," Lee said. "We just had that conversation. He's already saved L.A. Sure, they should patch it up with Manny. You're going to have to see his number on the wall sooner or later here, aren't you? He's going to be standing right where I'm standing. Mark my words. Because if he doesn't go in the Red Sox Hall of Fame, [it's not right]."

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