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Saturday, April 9, 2011
A very Manny retirement
I'm no Bill Simmons so I won't bore you with every single precious memory I have of Manny Ramirez (along with all my friends and family members) when he was on the Boston Red Sox from 2001-2008.
However, with his sudden retirement from the Tampa Bay Rays and MLB yesterday, I felt like I owe a short ode to the greatest hitter I've ever seen in my life (sorry Nomar).
First of all, can we agree that the way Manny retired (on a Friday afternoon, during a Red Sox-Yankees Opening Day at Fenway) was so perfect that you couldn't even script it that well? So yeah, he got bagged again for another failed PED test but I'm long past letting steroids in baseball bother me.
In the Wild West days (pre steroid testing), everyone in MLB did it except maybe David Eckstein so who can you blame but Bud Selig and the powers that be at MLB that buried their heads in the sand?
Anyways, Manny was the most bizarre superstar athlete that we'll ever see in our times here on Earth. He was once described as like Rain Man and I think that about covers it. He was put on this planet to hit a baseball, nothing more, nothing less.
They say the great ones in baseball have a different sound off the bat when they hit the ball and I have to say that when he was going good (1995-2006), he destroyed any pitcher. Didn't matter if you were a lefty or righty, threw hard or soft. He crushed everything.
We'll always be indebted to him and David Ortiz for delivering not one but two World Series titles (2004 and 2007) to the Red Sox. He was the 2004 World Series MVP.
The last few seasons were a bad dream for his career. After being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the 2008 trade deadline, he had an absurd half season with them. But in 2009 with LA then 2010 with the Dodgers and Chicago White Sox not to mention this past Spring Training with the Tampa Bay Rays, the magic was gone.
Manny turned to steroids for the second time (that we know about) and got caught once again. It's not the ending out of a movie but if you watched Manny from 2001-2008, it seems like the perfect way for him to go out.