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Wild Baseball 5: Manny Ramirez

Manny Ramirez is, at the same time, one of the best hitters of all-time, and one of the most entertaining figures in the history of sports. Throughout his career, Manny was involved in a number of wild incidents on and off the field. Even now, we hear stories of Manny Ramirez still kicking around in Australia, trying to hold onto the game of baseball. With an appearance on the 2021 Hall of Fame ballot causing fans to look back at the career of Manny Ramirez, I’d like to cover my top five “Manny being Manny” moments.

Number Five: Manny Ramirez in the Monster

Playing in left field for his entire time in Boston, Manny Ramirez quickly became familiar with the green monster. In fact, he liked it so much that on numerous occasions, Manny would disappear from the game to hide in the monster doing god knows what.

In a 2005 September matchup with the bases loaded, the Red Sox pitching coach went to the mound for an ordinary mound visit. Manny Ramirez took the chance to enter the monster, closing the door behind him. After a nervous few seconds, Manny returned, not even getting set before the next pitch was thrown.

Number Four: Manny Ramirez Breaks the Curse

Regardless of any shenanigans, Manny Ramirez will always be loved in Boston for the role he played in ending the Curse of the Bambino. Prior to the 2004 season, Manny was nearly traded to the Rangers for Alex Rodriguez, before the Yankees ultimately made the move.

What initially seemed like a loss for Boston soon became a blessing, as Manny Ramirez hit .308 with a league-leading 43 home runs, good enough for a third-place MVP finish. Manny was even more valuable in the ’04 playoffs hitting .385/.300/.412 across the ALDS, ALCS, and World Series, respectively. In the end, Manny Ramirez was named World Series MVP and showed off a legendary sign on the duck boat parade reading “Jeter is playing golf today, this is better”.

Number Three: Manny Ramirez Hits 2007 ALDS Walk-Off

2007 was Manny’s last year in Boston, but he certainly went out with a bang. Unlike three years prior, his playoff heroics were unexpected. Manny Ramirez had only played in six games during the entire month of September due to injury and was now back in the spotlight.

In Game-Two of the ALDS, the Red Sox and Angels were tied at three with Francisco Rodriguez on the mound. With a man on second and two outs, Rodriguez intentionally walked David Ortiz to face Manny Ramirez. Ramirez responded by blasting a home run over the green monster to win the game. He stood at home plate staring at his bomb in one of the coolest moments in baseball.

Number Two: Manny Ramirez and the Coolest Double Play

Manny Ramirez was statistically not a very good defender. His bat was his main weapon, and he would frequently have mental or physical gaffes in the field. However, on rare occasions, Manny Ramirez would do something extraordinary.

With two men on and one out, Manny’s former teammate Kevin Millar drove what seemed to be a sure extra-base hit into left. Manny Ramirez raced back to the wall and made an amazing catch on the run. After making the catch, Manny decided to leap up and high five a fan before launching a beautiful relay through that doubled-up Aubrey Huff at first base.

Number One: Manny Ramirez Cuts Off Damon

Before making the 2004 playoffs and eventually winning the World Series, the Red Sox were just fighting for the Wild Card. In a July game against the Orioles, the Sox were down by two runs, trying to hold on to a lead with a man on third and two outs.

David Newhan hit a rocket to centerfield off of Pedro Martinez that Johnny Damon could not catch. Damon tried to throw the ball back in, but out of nowhere, Manny Ramirez dove in front of the throw, cutting it off. He then got up and threw the ball to another cutoff man before the ball made it to the plate, resulting in an inside-the-park home run. Nobody knows what was going on in Manny’s mind when he chose to intercept Damon’s relay, but it is certainly the perfect encapsulation of Manny’s freak athleticism and confusing hilarity.

Read More Wild Baseball

Wild Baseball 1: Len Koenecke

Wild Baseball 2: When the Red Sox Let Their Best Players Walk

Wild Baseball 3: Albert Belle’s Corked Bat

Wild Baseball 4: Former NFL Player Ejected for Criticizing Angel Hernandez

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