I love watching Manny Ramirez. I have never been as excited to see the Red Sox get a player as I was when they nabbed Manny. Sure, he’s a goof. Sure, he has an occasional mental lapse. Frankly, I just don’t care. The man can flat out hit, and now we see that he can toss around the leather too. (If we were watching, we already knew that) The enjoyment Manny brings to the game may never be topped. The sight of him giving a high-five to a fan before turning a double play is priceless. (For his sake, thank goodness he was able to turn the double play…if he throws it away after that, he’d never hear the end of it) If Manny were happy and funny, and that was it he’d still be a great member of the Red Sox. The fact that he may be the best right-handed hitter ever makes it amazing. (I said may)
Five Manny Moments I’ve particularly enjoyed:
1. Manny hitting the first pitch he saw at Fenway as a member of the Red Sox for a first inning game tying three run homer- That was a joy to watch. The new acquisition paying off immediately, and proving that he could help save the offense.
2. The early intentional walk- In a 2001 game against Oakland, Manny was walked intentionally in the bottom of the tenth inning…with nobody on base. That right, the Oakland manager put the winning run on base in extra innings in Fenway rather than pitch to Manny with nobody on. (Of course, it worked…maybe there was something to it.
3. The trade deadline RBI-Manny was publicly on the trading block on deadline day. To help him mentally, Manny was given the day off during the home game at the deadline. Deadline comes and goes, and nobody in the park knows if Manny’s still with the team. Until…Manny steps into the on-deck circle to pinch-hit to a thunderous ovation. Not willing to stop there, Manny singles up the middle to plate the eventual winning run.
4. Manny robbing Miguel Cairo- At least I think it was Cairo. On a deep drive at Yankee Stadium, Manny reaches into the crowd to pull back a home run. Cairo didn’t imagine Manny could have done this, and actually circles the bases in his home run trot. Not until he gets back to the dugout does he realize he’s been out the whole time.
5. The ALDS game winner- Manny hits a walk-off three run home run in the bottom of the ninth, and stands to celebrate. He took a little flack for his celebration, but give him a break. If you hit a home run that important, and that far, off that good of a closer, you deserve to raise your hands. My favorite part is the catcher’s reaction. I don’t even think Manny has finished his swing before the catcher gets out of his crouch and heads back to the dugout.
Naturally, there are many more. Or should it be Manny more? Any favorites?
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