July 31st, 4:01PM: Do you know where your Manny is?

As far as we know, still in Boston.

While searching the web for updates I came across this from Chad Finn at Touching All The Bases. Though written in the 2006 off-season, the finality of Manny’s departure was as certain then as it has been all this week.

This time, I’m afraid, all the experts, insiders, and rumor pushers are right. Like one of his legendary moonshots toward the Mass Pike, Manny Ramirez is going, going, gone.

Now, unless this is your first visit to this warped corner of cyberspace, you’re surely aware that TATB is unabashed Manny Territory. We admit it upfront. We’re awed by the player (should Albert Pujols fail to keep up the pace, Manny’s Hall of Fame plaque will refer to him as the greatest righthanded hitter of his era) and amused by the man-child antics (though admittedly not so much come last September, when his season was aborted due to some combination of injury and indifference). Other than Butch Hobson, the wild-eyed idol of our childhood, we have never enjoyed watching a Red Sox player more. You could say every blast has been a blast.

Yet we’re resigned to the sad fact that he’ll be an ex-Red Sox shortly, just as soon as Theo Epstein receives the appropriate handful of shiny rocks and magic beans in return. Manny’s going to be a Dodger, or an Angel, or a Padre, and one of the most fun, productive, and successful eras in Red Sox history will officially be in the past tense. Pardon me while I cue up Faith Rewarded and wonder why it feels so long ago.

Unless there’s a deal on the table that hasn’t been announced, or something happens post-deadline (which would require Manny clearing waivers), the once-lovable-always-misunderstood slugger is staying in Boston for a few more months.