Nonetheless the Manny: Slugger Manny Ramírez returns to Cleveland for induction into staff’s Corridor of Fame

Crimson Sox

The Crimson Sox icon was honored by his first MLB staff on Saturday.

Former Cleveland baseball participant Manny Ramirez solutions a query throughout a information convention, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023, in Cleveland. Ramirez will probably be inducted into the Cleveland Guardians Corridor of Fame earlier than Saturday’s recreation between the Detroit Tigers and the Guardians. (AP Photograph/Sue Ogrocki) AP

CLEVELAND (AP) — Manny Ramírez pulled off his darkish designer sun shades, tugged at his Dolce & Gabbana tie and smiled extensively.

Again in his ingredient.

Manny being Manny.

“It’s an honor to return again to the home that I constructed, the Jake” Ramírez mentioned throughout a information convention at Progressive Subject, often known as Jacobs Subject when the slugger performed in Cleveland. “I do know they modified the identify, however I’m comfortable to be again. I’m comfortable to be again within the metropolis and the place that I grew up.”

Top-of-the-line hitters in baseball historical past, and one of many recreation’s largest characters, Ramírez, who broke in with these powerhouse Indians groups within the Nineteen Nineties, returned on Saturday to be inducted into the Guardians’ Corridor of Fame.

The 51-year-old was relaxed and wildly entertaining throughout a 16-minute session with reporters by which he touched on his enjoying profession in Cleveland and Boston, his ambivalence towards being voted into Baseball’s Corridor of Fame and his future.

“I’m going to play in Prague subsequent yr,” he claimed. “They noticed me hitting BP (batting follow) they usually mentioned can you are taking some at-bats with us? In Czechoslovakia, sure.”

With Ramírez, something’s doable.

Born within the Dominican Republic and raised in New York, he broke in with Cleveland in 1993 and it didn’t take lengthy for Ramírez to blossom right into a perennial All-Star.

Blessed with fast palms, a eager batter’s eye and ample energy to all fields, Ramírez destroyed pitches and pitching staffs on the best way to ending with a profession .312 common and 555 dwelling runs — fifteenth all-time.

“He’s probably the most gifted hitters I’ve ever seen,” mentioned Guardians supervisor Terry Francona, who received two World Sequence titles with Ramírez in Boston. “It felt totally different when he bought in that batter’s field. It was totally different when he left the batter’s field, too.

“However when he was within the batter field, man, it was fairly particular. He had a reasonably good thought of what he needed to do.”

Totally different defines Ramírez.

However regardless of his many spectacular on-field achievements, Ramírez’s two suspensions for performance-enhancing medicine have stained his resume and saved him from being voted by baseball writers for enshrinement in Cooperstown.

He’s hardly alone as Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa are among the many many superstars who haven’t been forgiven for missteps throughout baseball’s steroid period.

Ramírez insists the omission doesn’t hassle him.

“Life shouldn’t be the way you begin, it’s the way you end,” he mentioned. “I need to be there, however my precedence is one thing else. Nevertheless it’s going to occur. It’s going to occur with time. However I’m not in a rush.”

Throughout his enjoying profession, Ramirez was additionally identified for being somewhat goofy and unpredictable.

There have been memorable and comical moments on and off the sphere, with a few of his antics changing into so routine they had been summed up as “Manny being Manny.”

Ramirez mentioned the phrase has all the time puzzled him.

“What does that imply?” he requested.

Ramirez attributed a lot of his actions to being younger and carefree, such because the time he requested a beat reporter earlier than a recreation in Kansas Metropolis if he may borrow $10,000 so he may purchase a motorbike.

“We had been simply joking as youngsters,” he mentioned. “Life is all about having enjoyable. After which once you gotta work, you go get it. Since you don’t know once you’re gonna die. It’s a blessing to return right here and placed on that uniform. That’s life.

“Bear in mind, you’re not gonna please everyone. However you may please your self.”

Even in retirement, Ramirez, who took some swings within the ballpark’s indoor batting cages earlier within the day together with his three sons, appears like he may get a pair hits.

He’s sure of it.

“Simply put me within the lineup,” he mentioned. “Like final night time, I noticed these guys hitting and I needed to activate myself. I ought to be hitting third.”

On his approach out of the interview room, Ramirez paused on the doorway.

“Manny being Manny,” he mentioned with a shrug.