Photo Credit: Jim Rogash/Getty Images
The Red Sox beloved slugger may struggle to find his way into Cooperstown.
During the winter of 2000, the Red Sox, and GM Dan Duquette, signed Manny Ramirez to an 8 year / $160 million deal. There was high hope that Manny would help lead the Red Sox to multiple post-seasons and even a World Series.
In his first plate appearance at Fenway, the new acquisition crushed a Ryan Ruppe pitch, sending it high over the Green Monster for a three-run homer. It energized the ballpark instilled a sense of new hope of what was to come with their new slugger.
Here are highlights of what Manny was able to accomplish over his 7.5 years with the Red Sox:
2001: His first season in a Red Sox uniform, Manny would go on to hit 41 home runs driving in 125 while playing in 142 games for the Sox. He earned his first of seven All-Star selections as a member of the team which he would do all seven years he wore a Red Sox uniform.
2002: The following season, Manny would win the AL Batting title with a .349 average.
2003: With the newly arrived David Ortiz providing protection in the lineup, Manny would play in a career-high 154 games hitting .325/.427/.587/1.014 with 37 home runs while driving in 104.
The Red Sox would win the AL Wild Card and Manny delivered in the ALDS:[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePv2R6hYM5Q&w=560&h=315]
2004: The Red Sox slugger finished with a .308 average, hit 43 home runs, and drove in 130 runs.
In the ALCS, Ramirez would go 9-30 (.300) and 7-17 (.412) hitting one homer in the World Series. Manny was named the World Series MVP.
500 Home Runs: The prominent slugger added to his illustrious career with his 500th long ball off of the Orioles’ Chad Bradford.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxgfdFRjwLs&w=560&h=315]
2008: The Trade:
Before the trade-deadline, it was announced that the Red Sox had traded Manny to the LA Dodgers in a three-team deal.
In LA, Manny seemed rejuvenated and would hit .396 with 17 home runs and 53 RBI’s. This immediate success provided him with MVP votes, but also would lead the Dodgers to the playoffs.
* Photo Taken By: Sasha Handelman (2009)*
Failed Drug Tests:
Throughout Manny’s career, there had been speculation that Manny had been taking PED’s including a failed drug test in 2003. However, with the drug screening program not at its full potency at the time, there was no way to truly discover whether or not Manny had, in fact, taken banned substances.
In 2009, Manny was caught and thus endured his first suspension, when he was suspended for 50 games for taking a banned substance.
Unfortunately, Manny was suspended a second time as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays. Instead of serving the lengthy second suspension, he decided to retire.
Hall of Fame:
Ramirez finished with:
- Career .312 Average (83rd All Time)
- 555 career home runs (15th All Time)
- 1831 Career RBI’s (19th All Time)
- 12x All-Star
- 2002 Batting Champion
- 2004 World Series MVP
Manny earned only 22% of the votes in 2018. Needing to reach the 75% threshold, it is possible that the beloved Red Sox hitter could one day be in Cooperstown; however, it is highly unlikely.
While at-bat, Manny was considered by many to be one of the most feared right-handed hitters of his era and his numbers definitely back that up. His “Manny Being Manny” personality captivated Red Sox fans and made him a fan favorite.
Manny Ramirez may never reach Cooperstown, but Red Sox fans will always remember the player who played with such enthusiasm and joy.
Discussing his time in a Red Sox uniform, we’ll just laugh, shake our heads and say, “Well that’s just Manny being Manny.”