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Manny Ramirez to sit out All Star game

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Sox have concern over Ramirez's knee

Club to recommend that slugger sits out All-Star Game


Despite becoming the American League's top vote-getter this week for the upcoming All-Star Game in Pittsburgh, the Red Sox will recommend that slugger Manny Ramirez not play in the July 11 contest.


Red Sox skipper Terry Francona said prior to Thursday's game with the Mets that Ramirez has been battling a sore right knee for some time, an injury which has forced the club to take him out of games early.


"I don't think his knee feels that good," Francona said. "We've been trying to get him out of there a little bit in, maybe, situations where in the past I haven't because you don't want his at-bat coming up if [a team] comes back.


"We're trying to take the whole season into consideration. We've taken him out quite a few more times than we would like, and we will probably continue to do that -- just try to get him to the All-Star break, because I do think it's bothering him a little bit."


Francona said he spoke with Red Sox spokesman John Blake about contacting MLB to formally tell them about the club's concerns regarding Ramirez's availability.


"I think maybe we need to communicate that to [MLB], because my recommendation would be that he not play," Francona said. "I don't want to throw the league into a fury and it's not trying to disrespect anybody. I also see this kid enough to where I think this is something we need to think about, because our responsibility is to try to get him to play as many games with the Red Sox as is possible."


Reached by phone Thursday night, Phyllis Merhige, senior vice president of MLB club relations, said the league will take the matter into consideration, but not before the team is announced this weekend.


"Until the team is announced, I think it would be premature to comment," Merhige told MLB.com. "MLB and I are grateful that Terry and the Red Sox are sensitive enough to think of us."


"I know it's a very touchy subject and there's been some problems in the past, we're going to Phyllis about that and try and let her know that we've been taking him out of games and things like that," Francona said.


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