Beyond the Monster: Manny Being Manny

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Beyond the Monster is an ongoing series where we take you back in time and look at moments in Red Sox history.

Manny Ramirez misses competing in the batters box that at 47-years old, he wants to return back to professional baseball.  Ramirez, who will turn 48 next month, is looking to play in the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan.  While professional sports are currently on-hold due to the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world, the CPBL has garnered the attention of players looking to play baseball this season. 

Photo courtesy of BostonGlobe.com
Ramirez last played in the CPBL for the EDL Rhinos back in 2013, where he batted .352 with eight home runs and drove in 43 RBI.  He played in only 49 games before returning back to the United States.  The 19-year veteran of Major League Baseball played eight years with the Red Sox and had many, and I mean many, memorable moments while playing in Boston. 

On July 19, 2005, Ramirez was spending some time inside the 37-foot tall Green Monster.  The fun-loving and larger than life personality, Ramirez emerged just in time from the monster, because starter Wade Miller was about to deliver a pitch.  You see, Ramirez went inside the Monster because he had to pee.  During a pitching change during the game, Ramirez thought he was in the clear to take care of business inside the monster.  This moment was one of Manny that gave him the moniker, “Manny being Manny".

During his tenure in Boston, it was hard to know when Ramirez was being serious or if he was kidding.  But on that warm night at Fenway, ManRam had to go, and he did, inside a cup within the confines of the historic Green Monster.  “I urinated in a cup," said Ramirez after the game.  The inside of the Green Monster does not have a bathroom and is occupied by scoreboard operators who manually change the scoreboard in left field. 

When Ramirez wasn’t peeing inside the Monster or cutting off Johnny Damon’s throws in the outfield, he was one of the best right-handed hitters to ever wear a Red Sox uniform.  It was a privilege to watch him mash in Boston and see him and David Ortiz make up a 3-4 combo in a middle of the lineup that struck fear into opposing pitchers.  He provided playoff theatrics like none other from the walk-off home run against the Angels in the ALDS that sent the ball over the Monster into the Boston night, to the day he became a United States citizen and ran onto the field with a small American flag smiling and proud. 

While he wasn’t the easiest to deal with during his time in Boston, he was special.  But he was also painted as a malcontent during his time with the Red Sox. From his run in with then 64-year old traveling secretary Jack McCormick where Ramirez pushed him down to the double play he would casually run down against the Angels, where the likes of Jerry Remy to ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight” would be critical of the slugger.  

Ramirez was just in a league of his own and we know that when the Red Sox signed him back in 2000 to that massive $200 million dollar contract.  Despite the ill-will towards Ramirez and the eventual trade for Jason Bay, I always respected Manny and will forever, and I mean forever, be thankful I was able to watch him play for the Boston Red Sox. 

Ramirez accomplished a lot during his time in Boston, but ownership and Ramirez never seemed to be on the same page.  That is a shame considering that like many before him, his number should also be retired by the team.  You could make the case of retiring the No. 24 for both Ramirez and Dwight Evans.  Dewey played almost his entire career in Boston while Ramirez was a part of two World Series championship teams.  While he did encounter PED issues during his career, I think Red Sox Nation could find it in their collective hearts to forgive Ramirez.  If ownership can forgive Roger Clemens then fences can be mended with Ramirez. 

If Ramirez does come back to baseball even in Taiwan, I will root for the slugger because he was such a special talent.  The relationships we have with our baseball team is unlike anything that can be explained.  People relate because we all understand that feeling our sports teams give us.  When you truly love the Red Sox, it will forever be embedded in your DNA.  Ramirez will forever be embedded in the DNA and lore of the Boston Red Sox.  Thank you for being Manny, and good luck in Taiwan. 



Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisHenrique

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Beyond the Monster: Manny Being Manny
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