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DOWN THE LINE

Times Staff Writer

Look into the trade? Look in the mirror

The Boston Red Sox should stand up, publicly, and tell Bud Selig there is no need for him to investigate the circumstances surrounding the Manny Ramirez trade.

The Red Sox coddled Ramirez so long as it suited their purposes, then traded him in a way that suited their purposes. They had all the leverage. Scott Boras, his agent, had none.

In June, when Ramirez shoved the team’s 64-year-old traveling secretary to the ground, they did not suspend him. If they truly believed Ramirez was faking injury or giving a half-hearted effort last month, they should have suspended him.

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They had no obligation to play him, to trade him, to void the option years in his contract and make him a free agent. They decided to trade him to the Dodgers on July 31 because they could get Jason Bay to replace him, acting in what they believed was the best interest of the Red Sox.

No team, after all, would hurt its chances to win by benching or suspending one of its most productive hitters in the middle of a pennant race, right?

The Angels did just that in 2004, kicking Jose Guillen off the team when they were two games out in the American League West with eight to play. They won the division by one game.

Free to be Manny and me

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Although Dodgers owner Frank McCourt vetoed trades, including one for CC Sabathia, that would have added to his payroll, a high-ranking major league official with knowledge of club finances said the Dodgers have no cash-flow issues.

“Absolutely not,” said the official, who is not authorized to speak publicly about club finances.

The Dodgers got Ramirez and Casey Blake for free, to great benefit. But Sabathia, traded to Milwaukee, is 6-0 with a 1.58 earned-run average.

Nothing trivial about his pursuit

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Barry Bonds set the all-time home run record one year ago last week. The pitcher that gave up No. 756, Mike Bacsik of Washington, handled his fate with grace and humor.

But the Nationals have kept him in the minor leagues this season, and he finds nothing funny in that.

“Do they not want me there because, ‘Hell, we don’t want to talk about giving up a home run to Barry Bonds as the only thing worth talking about in Nationals history?’ ” Bacsik told the San Francisco Chronicle.

It could be that, or it could be his 4.43 ERA as a middle reliever in triple A.

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No Mo money for those tickets

New York Yankees pitcher Dan Giese grew up in Riverside in a family that rooted for the Angels.

“We used to have season tickets,” Giese said. “Then they signed Mo Vaughn, and it got a little pricey.”

In 1998, the Angels signed Vaughn to a six-year, $80-million contract, the largest in club history before Torii Hunter signed for five years and $90 million last winter.

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Soup’s on Ventura Boulevard

The Brewers visit L.A. next weekend, providing fans with the possibility of seeing a major leaguer at work -- at his restaurant.

Jeff Suppan runs Soup’s Grill in Woodland Hills, a sports-themed eatery with a menu that includes burgers, hoagies, cheese steaks and chicken. So which dish might his vegetarian teammate, Prince Fielder, enjoy?

Fielder’s Salad. Seriously. But hold the chicken.

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