Manny Being Manny – A Look Back at Ramirez’s Career

As a Red Sox fan, I was sad to hear about Manny’s retirement.  Despite his on and off the field antics while he was with the Sox that led up to their less than amicable parting of ways, the fact remains that he is one of (perhaps the best) hitter of his generation.  And he got hits when they mattered.  During the Sox’s epic run to the 2004 World Series Championship, Ramirez batted .348 and had an OPS of .923 with 11 RBIs.  I will love him forever for helping win that series.
Manny Ramirez
Watching him hit was one of my favorite parts of Red Sox games — he appeared so at ease in the batter’s box that you would wonder if he really cared or was even paying attention.  Then, SMACK, all of a sudden he’d crank a pitch into the outfield or the stands.  I will miss seeing that swing.  There was an excellent article in today’s NYT by Sara Rimer about Manny’s early years:

When I heard that Manny Ramirez had retired, the first person I called was his high school coach, Steve Mandl. I reached him at George Washington High School in Upper Manhattan, where he has coached varsity baseball for 27 years.

He was sad and stunned. I pictured him at the dented metal desk in his cramped office, where a 20-something Manny Ramirez in his Cleveland Indians uniform looms from the autographed poster that hangs on the wall.

“Steve,” I said, “that was real, wasn’t it — the Manny in high school, that swing, his work ethic, all that pure talent?”

“Oh, yeah,” Mandl said, “that was real.”

(via NYT)

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