Dan Shaughnessy claims that Major League Baseball is investigating Manny's departure from Boston, presumably regarding whether or not he and his agent Scott Boras concocted a plan in which Ramirez would intentionally lollygag in an effort to engineer the trade. I suppose baseball has an obligation to ensure competitive integrity and everything, but this investigation, assuming it isn't a figment of Shaughnessy's imagination, isn't going anywhere.
There are two reasons why many folks think that Manny was dogging it. First, he missed a couple of games with injuries which people are suggesting were imaginary. Second, there was that rumor that Manny intentionally struck out against Mariano Rivera a couple of weeks ago, married with a more general suggestion that his play appeared to be less than inspired in the days leading up to the trade.
There's a problem, though:
Games played while in Boston: 100 of 109
Line while in Boston: .299/.398/.529
Post-All-Star Break Line While in Boston: .351/.467/.622
All of those numbers are better than what he was doing last year, and after Dustin Pedroia, Manny played in more games than any of his teammates. "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury," counselor Boras might say, "It's no secret that my client wanted out of Boston. But, as the evidence shows, his strategy to get traded wasn't to loaf. Rather, it was to produce at such a high level in his final days in Boston that he would be a highly attractive trade target!"
OK, lawyerly spin aside, yeah, I suspect that Manny may very well have been loafing and malingering because he sort of looked like he was before the trade. But the problem is that the hard evidence -- the kind that gets presented in response to investigations because you can't admit a suspicion as an exhibit -- rebuts the story of a lazy, unproductive Ramirez. Maybe Scott Boras and Manny sat in a room and planned out their grand plot in just such a way as to maximize his damage while minimizing the actual evidence of it, but I think that gives Ramirez a bit too much credit for concentration, don't you?
Upshot: unless there's a smoking gun email or a squealing witness to a conversation in which Boras instructed Manny to do something wrong, this investigation will end before it begins.
(hat tip to BTF's Srul Itza for the Manny statlines)