With Legacy Now Tainted, Will He Always Remain “Just” Manny?

By: Lindsey Foltin

We all know the nuance behind the phrase “Just Manny being Manny”… The bizarre behavior he began to routinely display during his run with the Boston Red Sox surely left many people scratching their heads.

Disappearing into the Green Monster in the middle of an inning to take a leak. Bird watching instead of catching fly balls. Pirouetting through the outfield as if auditioning for Julliard. These were all considered instances where Manny Ramirez was “just being Manny”.

Former Indians Outfielder Manny Ramirez

Fans brushed off his goofy antics, and actually began to embrace them, after seeing what he means to their team. After hitting .308 with 43 HR and 130 RBI in 2004, it was Ramirez who helped lead the Red Sox to their first World Series Title in 86 years… as the MVP nonetheless.

As a die-hard Cleveland Indians fan who grew up watching Manny Ramirez, I’ve always had a soft spot for him.

I first met him at Spring Training in Winter Haven in 1995, after waiting three hours for him to finish his swim at the pool. While all the other players (and fans) had already left, Manny called my brother and I over to sign our baseballs, and his bat (which he had given us), and take pictures.

So no matter how much he may have changed over the years, and no matter how much I hated the fact that he left us for the Red Sox to make more money, or that his team ruined our chances of going to the World Series in 2007, he still remained my favorite player.

Once he headed to “Mannywood” to play for the Dodgers, I was slightly relieved since he no longer had a vested interest in beating the Cleveland Indians.

Manny Ramirez

After it came out in May of 2009 that Manny had tested positive for Performance Enhancing Drugs, I, just like most of the world, chalked it up to “Just Manny Being Manny”. Most of us gave him a free pass, and some of us even made excuses for him, arguing that “maybe, he really just didn’t know”.

After his much-anticipated return from his 50 game suspension, Manny went on to do what he does best – hit home runs and break records. Baseball was happy to have him back.

This time, unfortunately, he won’t be so lucky.

As a second-time offender of breaking MLB’s PED policy, his chances of being elected into the Baseball Hall Of Fame are miniscule. Despite the fact that he will always be known as one of the most talented hitters in all of baseball, and that he was such a critical part of breaking the Red Sox “curse” as he led them to win two World Series Championships, you can set him aside with all of the other PED users.

His ticket to the HOF has been voided, and his legacy is forever tainted. Baseball only gives two strikes when it comes to this game, and this time they don’t care if it’s “Just Manny being Manny”.

Follow me on Twitter @LindseyBaseball

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2 Comments

  1. good article, yes very sad that he had to do steroids to keep in the game, we all know he was a pure hitter and still would of done well without them, I guess he just felt he needed that edge.

  2. Why isn’t this young lady blogging more ? She blows away any of the male rum- dums , and yes it is a shame Lindsey. Manny didn’t need juice. He had the prettiest swing I have ever seen from a righty. I was hoping Boston could have unloaded him earlier so his stats would not have exceeded the Tribe stats and he could have gone in the Hall as an Indian. They are still close though. I will always love the guy ! My wife and I had season tix during the hey day in CF and she teaches special ed. She would just look at Manny and shake her head saying “He is SO A-D-D. His glove would be off and he would be staring around as the pitch was on the way to the plate. Great savante !!


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