Thursday April 25, 2013 | 05:07 AM

Manny Ramirez had his moments with the Boston Red Sox, especially when it came to fake hamstring injuries and childish behavior. But it was waved off with mumblings of "Manny being Manny" and forced smiles.

Ramirez was a game-changing hitter who made a difference when he was in the lineup. Plus, as then manager Terry Francona revealed in his book, Ramirez's teammates were willing to put up with the Manny nonsense (when they got fed up in 2008, Ramirez was gone).

When Alfredo Aceves pitched horribly on Tuesday, including an inning when he balked twice and failed to cover first base, manager John Farrell called it a lack of focus. It wasn't the first time. Pitchers can't afford to have "Manny being Manny" moments while on the mound. And it is doubtful his teammates have his back (especially after he blamed them for not hitting).

(For more on Aceves, see Sean McAdam of

So Aceves was dispatched to Triple-A Pawtucket. He has 72 hours to get there and who knows if he makes it. He could be traded or released by then.

John Lackey appears ready to take his starting job back, so Aceves would have been going to the bullpen. Now it looks like both Alex Wilson and Daniel Bard are staying for a while.

Media reports have catcher Ryan Lavarnway being summoned from Pawtucket to take Aceves' roster spot (at least temporarily until Lackey is activated). Lavarnway might get in the lineup Friday against lefty Erik Bedard.

As for the minors, Sea Dogs third baseman Michael Almanzar (.333) continues to hit, going 3-for-5 Wednesday with a double. His OPS is .962 (.375/.587). We featured Almanzar in a column last Sunday.

Another third baseman, Salem's Garin Cecchini, is batting .344 with a .987 OPS (.440/.547).

Old friend Jayson Hernandez (a true pro last year in Portland while serving as the No. 3 catcher), is batting .393 in nine games with Greenville.

About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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