Manny Ramirez apologizes for behavior in Boston

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Returning to Boston for the second time since being traded from the Red Sox to the Dodgers during the 2008 season, Manny Ramirez said Friday that he was to blame for the turn of events that led to his departure from the team he helped lead to two World Series titles.
As he told ESPNBoston.com:

I think everything was my fault. But, hey, you’ve got to be a real man to realize when you do wrong. Hey, it was my fault. I’m already past that stage and I’m happy with my new team.

Ramirez, who declined to speak to reporters when he played in Fenway as a Dodger in June 2009, said he apologized to Kevin Youkilis in his last stop in Boston. The two players fought in the dugout prior to the trade that sent Ramirez to the Dodgers two years ago.

When I went to first base and saw Youkilis, I said, ‘Hey, what happened between you and me, I’m sorry. That’s my fault.’ So it takes a real man just to go and tell a person it was my fault. That’s what I did.

Far more talkative than usual, Ramirez also said today that he would have been willing to waive his no-trade clause to return to Boston had the Red Sox, rather than the White Sox, claimed him off waivers last month and that he’s not sure whether he’ll be back to play in 2011.

CC Sabathia wants to pitch beyond 2017

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 18: CC Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees pitches during the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on September 18, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Red Sox won 5-4. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)
Rich Gagnon/Getty Images
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CC Sabathia‘s contract with the Yankees expires after the 2017 season but the lefty feels that he has enough left in the tank to pitch in 2018 and beyond, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports.

Sabathia said, “I just know myself. I know I feel like it’s not my time yet. Barring any crazy injuries I know I can pitch past next year. I feel like this is just the beginning of what I’m trying to do. I feel like there’s a lot more still to learn and a lot better to get. It’s exciting.”

The 36-year-old lefty currently holds a 4.02 ERA and a 144/63 K/BB ratio in 172 1/3 innings. It’s his best and healthiest season since 2012. He battled a knee injury last season and checked into rehab for alcohol addiction last October. Sabathia said that being treated for his addiction put him “in a good spot.”

Sabathia is owed $25 million through a vesting option for the 2017 season.

Red Sox lose on Mark Teixeira’s walkoff grand slam, but still clinch AL East

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 28:  Dustin Pedroia #15 and pinch runner Marco Hernandez #41 of the Boston Red Sox celebrate after both scored in the eighth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on September 28, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
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The Red Sox can thank the Orioles for not having to fight to clinch the division on Thursday or later. The Orioles came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 3-2 on Wednesday evening, clinching the AL East for the Red Sox.

A few minutes after that game went final, the Red Sox squandered a 3-0 lead taken in the eighth inning, culminating in a walk-off grand slam by Mark Teixeira in the bottom of the ninth inning. Closer Craig Kimbrel started the ninth, but didn’t have control over any of his pitches. He allowed a leadoff single followed by three consecutive walks to force in a run. Joe Kelly relieved Kimbrel and seemed to be close to wriggling out of the jam, getting Starlin Castro to strike out looking and Didi Gregorius to pop up. But after starting Teixeira with a first-pitch curve ball for a strike, Teixera clobbered a 99 MPH fastball, sending it over the fence in right-center to end the game.

For the Yankees, the come-from-behind victory was crucial as it staved off Wild Card elimination for one more day.

This is the first time the Red Sox have clinched the AL East since 2013, also the last year they won the World Series.