The Red Sox were fortunate last night that another glaring example of their indifferent play was eclipsed by the New England Patriots’ big win in their impressive 30-14 season’s opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Sox culprit this time again was slugger Manny Ramirez who made no effort at all to run out a ground ball in the third inning of what was a close game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla.

But freshman Boston manager Grady Little who without question is one of the nice guys of the American League, took no action aainst Ramirex because, he said, Ramirez apologized to the other players on the bench—this after he was booed lustily by the few fans in the park. Who’s running the team: Manny or Grady?

The $20 million-a-year outfielder’s performance was an embarrassment to the new owners of the team and undoubtedly will be the final nail in the coffin of Little whø has mismanaged a team with the American League’s two top pitchers (Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe) out of a playoff berth.

Red Sox fans who have filled Fenway Park to capacity every home game deserve a better shake. Little has to go. What the club desperately needs is a no-nonsense manager like the Patriots’ Coach Bill Belichick, but they are hard to come by.

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