”It was all pretty strange,” said Sportsworld’s Phil Castinetti, who’s been hawking sports stuff for 20 years. ”About a week after the season ended, I got a call from a guy saying Manny wanted to unload some stuff. He’d talked to a kid who sells stuff outside the ballpark and the kid talked to a guy who called me.
”Anyway, the guy called me and I went to Manny’s house and Manny was there. I got the house tour before anybody else and he had stuff everywhere. Game-used jerseys and bats and gloves and cleats and baseballs. What a place. Manny’s wife wasn’t there. I think she’d already gone to Miami. Manny said he’s been approached by a New York collector, but he wanted to keep the stuff around Boston. I asked him if he wanted to leave the Red Sox and he said, ‘No, I’m staying right here.’ ”
Castinetti gave Manny a price for the entire inventory and Manny agreed. There was no negotiation. And the next day, Castinetti returned with a Chevy Suburban and a friend to help him cart the stuff to the curb. Manny dutifully signed 25 game-used jerseys (wonder if Larry Lucchino wants those back — don’t they belong to the Red Sox, like Dougie’s ball?), five pairs of cleats, several hats, bats, and baseballs. The only things he did not want to part with were his favorite mitt (a Kevin Millar model) and a Red Sox batting helmet with pounds of pine tar smeared on top.
Castinetti peeled off a wad of bills (”Manny wanted cash”), handed it to RamÃrez, and was on his way.
And now for $2,500 you can have one of Manny’s signed Red Sox game jerseys. For $800 you can have a signed Manny bat (Louisville Sluggers, Carolina Clubs, and Sam-Bats for the most part). Manny’s signed cleats (size 12 Reeboks) go for $800, and signed caps are $229. He also signed bats he used that formerly belonged to Bill Mueller, Jason Varitek, and Millar.
Does Lucchino have any problem with Manny making a buck by raiding the closets at Fenway?
”In light of the pending Mientkiewicz litigation, we will have no comment on these allegations,” said the CEO.