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Manny is finally home in La La Land

August 4, 2008

by Matt Kane

Manny Ramirez is finally where he belongs. What better place for a goofball than Los Angeles, where freaks roam around Hollyweird freely with no questions asked.

Baseball fans know that Manny being Manny often meant Manny was doing something that makes most baseball purists and even casual observers throw up in their mouths. Fortunately, Manny’s antics have been well documented over the years. Here are some examples, according to Wikipedia:

September 7, 2002 - Ramirez requested the song “Good Times (I Get High)” by Styles P for his plate appearances. The unedited song’s lyrics about marijuana use were played over the Fenway Park public address system.

September 1, 2003 - Manny refused to pinch hit in a game against Philadelphia, angering manager Grady Little, who benched him the next game.

July 21, 2004 - From his spot in left-center field, Manny inexplicably made a diving play to cut off a relay throw from center fielder Johnny Damon, allowing David Newhan of the Orioles to score on an inside-the-park home run. This event is widely considered by many fans of Red Sox Nation to be the most popular Manny moment.

August 24, 2005 - Ramirez, up with one out and the bases loaded, hit a ground ball, but doesn’t run down the first base line, resulting in an inning-ending double play. The Kansas City Royals rally to tie the game, and eventually win in extra innings.

March 20, 2007 - Ramirez appeared in an Ebay listing selling a BBQ grill. The listing was later cancelled by Ebay. He later posted a custom Chrysler 300M on EBay.

October 17, 2007 - With the Red Sox trailing Cleveland 3-1 in the ALCS, Ramirez told reporters that if the Red Sox were eliminated, it wouldn’t be “the end of the world.” Though Ramirez faced criticism in the media for his statement, his team would go on to win their next seven games to win the ALCS and World Series.

October 27, 2007 - In game three of the World Series, Ramirez was thrown out during a controversial play at home plate. Manny often flips his helmet off while he is running the bases, to help pick up speed. In this instance, replays show that Manny’s helmet bounced off of his heel, causing him to stutter-step as he rounded third base.

May 14, 2008 - At Baltimore, Manny caught a Kevin Millar fly ball to deep-left, ran up the wall, and high-fived a Red Sox fan in the stands. Manny then turned around, fired the ball back to the infield, and doubled-up Aubrey Huff off of first base.

July 9, 2008 - During the sixth inning of a home game against the Twins, Manny climbed into the Green Monster and was seen talking on a cell phone during a pitching change.

July 18, 2008 - In the bottom of the sixth inning, in a game against the LA Angels, Manny tried to chase down a fly ball in front of him in left field hit by Maicer Izturis. He went into a slide to catch the ball, but missed it so it dropped and rolled behind him. He scampered on all fours to get the ball, and ended up rolling on top of the ball when he reached it, making center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury unable to pick up the ball. Manny had to lift up his rear to get the ball off the ground. When he finally picked up the ball and threw it into the infield with a big smile on his face. Izturis was on third base instead of the likely single had Manny just fielded the ball instead of trying to catch it on the fly. Theo Epstein and Terry Francona were both visibly unhappy with the whimsical fielding.

July 27, 2008 - Before his game against the New York Yankees, Manny has stated that he would play in Iraq if he needs to play there.

July 30, 2008 - Before the third game of a series against the Los Angeles Angels, Manny galavanted with a handwritten sign stating “I’m going to Green Bay for Brett Favre straight up.” The Green Bay Packers quarterback was in the throngs of a similarly untenable dispute with management. Ramirez reiterated this proposal in an interview with ESPNDeportes that aired the same day.

Funny. Idiotic. Ridiculous. Disrespectful. These are just some of the terms that could be used to describe Manny Ramirez’s actions since he came the big leagues with the Cleveland Indians in 1993. Another descritor could be awesome.

Manny is awesome when it comes to swinging a baseball bat. He is a career .312 hitter with 510 home runs, 493 doubles and 1,672 runs batted in. Ramirez was the MVP of the 2004 World Series; has won the Silver Slugger award nine times; is a former batting champion; and, through Thursday, had 2,318 career hits.

With statistics like this, one must really be a pain in the Red Sox to be unwanted during a tightly-contested pennant race.

He may be a big cry baby, but, I tell you what, I wouldn’t have minded heading down to the Metrodome 81 times a year to see Manny Ramirez slug balls into the home run porch in left field or off the baggy in right.

Now that would have been Manny being Manny.