Ortiz reportedly tried to help Manny but knew Boston days were done

Manny Ramirez protected David Ortiz in the Red Sox's lineup, and Ortiz backed his friend to the media. But even Ortiz knew Ramirez had to go.

Speaking to WEEI Radio's Dennis and Callahan show on Wednesday, Ortiz admitted that Ramirez's tenure with the Red Sox had gone downhill.

"The Manny situation was a tough situation for the team, for us the teammates, for him as a player," Ortiz said. "He was trying to get to be out, everybody knows, it's not news, for the past few years and it was something that it was getting worse and worse and worse every year."

Ortiz said he urged Ramirez to get along with the front office, his teammates and the media.

"Everything started one day that I told Manny: 'Hey look, look at the numbers that you have put up your whole career, and you have never been able to win an MVP, there's a reason why,'" Ortiz said. "And the media is our family."

He urged Ramirez to "pull yourself together and start getting connected with the media because that's how you express your feelings and people get to know more and Manny's good things, that people don't know about Manny. And he agreed with me."

Ramirez did begin last season more open to interviews than in the past, but then "Manny being Manny" went to another level.

In June, Ramirez pushed the team's traveling secretary to the ground. The next month he commented on the Red Sox's hesitation to pick up his option for 2009.

"I want no more [expletive] where they tell you one thing and behind your back they do another thing," he said.

Team owner John Henry publicly took exception to Ramirez's comments, and finally after 7½ seasons in Boston that included two World Series titles and eight All-Star appearances, the Red Sox seemed to have had enough. They traded their left fielder to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-team deal that brought Jason Bay to Boston.

Ortiz was asked Wednesday if Ramirez quit on the Red Sox last season.

"Well, to tell you the truth, it was something going down between the Red Sox and Manny Ramirez that I can never really break that down for you because there's some personal reasons that he has with our owners and I never got to the bottom of it, and [he's] got his feelings," Ortiz said. "You know, Manny was, he got to the point that he really wanted to get to play for someone else."

The Red Sox made the playoffs but eventually lost to the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Championship Series. Would they have won it all with Ramirez?

"Probably," Ortiz said. "I'm not going to lie to you, probably."