Before Tim Thomas, there was Manny

BOSTON -- A blogger at the conservative National Review, in discussing the decision by Bruins goalie Tim Thomas not to attend a White House ceremony honoring the Stanley Cup champions, said that former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein skipped both such ceremonies when the Red Sox won their World Series titles.

Not true. Epstein, who had made a campaign appearance on behalf of John Kerry, was not on the stage when President Bush honored the team in 2005, choosing to sit in the front row of the audience next to Stacy Lucchino, wife of the Sox CEO. The reason, he said, was because he wanted attention focused on those most deserving. And Epstein was with the group of players who subsequently visited wounded vets at the Walter Reed Medical Center.

Bush was still in office when the Sox won again in 2007. Epstein did not attend the ’08 ceremony, citing “family reasons,” and his absence barely registered. It was overshadowed by the no-show by Manny Ramirez, whose absence from the stage was noted by Bush himself.

"I’m sorry [Ortiz’s] running mate, Manny Ramirez, isn’t here,’’ the president said. “I guess his grandmother died again. Just kidding. Tell Manny I didn’t mean it.”