Former Red Sox slugger Manny Ramírez told the Los Angeles Times that he was "unhappy for eight years" in Boston and admitted that he should have handled his June confrontation with traveling secretary Jack McCormick differently.
"I was wrong," Ramírez said.
Ramírez, who has said little about his time in Boston since he was traded to the Dodgers July 31, spoke with columnist T.J. Simers for two hours Saturday. Simers wrote about Ramírez in Sunday's and yesterday's editions of the Times.
In yesterday's column, Ramírez explained that his relationship with McCormick had been deteriorating before the June 28 incident in Houston, and said that a day earlier McCormick had said some "nasty" things to Ramírez in front of his teammates.
Ramírez said he left the ballpark, then returned and requested a meeting with McCormick. "I told him, 'I can't have you disrespecting me in front of my teammates,' " Ramírez said.
When the conversation didn't go the way Ramírez had hoped, he shoved McCormick, 64. Ramírez reportedly had made a late request for 16 tickets for that afternoon's game, which McCormick couldn't fulfill.
"I didn't handle it the right way," Ramírez said.
Ramírez acknowledged in Sunday's column that he was unhappy during virtually his entire time in Boston, which began when he left the Cleveland Indians to accept the Red Sox' eight-year, $160 million contract offer following the 2000 season.
"The first time I stepped foot in Boston [as a member of the Red Sox in 2001], I said to myself, 'Whoa.' I told Pedro Martínez, 'Damn, man, I just want to get traded and get out of here; this place is not me.' I was unhappy for eight years in Boston but still put up great numbers."
Ramírez, who batted .396 with 17 homers and 53 RBIs in 53 games with the Dodgers, said he was never comfortable with the constant attention he received in Boston from fans and media.
"Baseball in Boston is like a Sunday football game, but played every day," Ramírez said. "We lose in LA, I go to breakfast and people say, 'Well, you'll get them tomorrow.' In Boston, it's 'Hey, what's going on, the Yankees are coming.' It's just a different atmosphere. The fans in Boston got your back no matter what, but I'm talking about the people who write all this bull because it means so much to them. If your happiness depends on Boston winning or losing, you have to get a life."
He also responded to Curt Schilling's recent claims on sports radio WEEI that Ramírez was a chronic problem in the Red Sox clubhouse.
"I don't wish him anything bad, although it did make me madder and play harder to show everyone who I am," Ramírez said.
Ramírez, 37, said he just wants to move on and hopes Boston fans understand.
"Just let me be happy someplace else. I'm against the clock," he said.