Manny is easily one of the greatest baseball players not only in my lifetime, but also one of the greatest who ever lived. The man made the game look so easy and never looked like he took anything too serious. The man lived for the moment, had a blast in front of everyone, and while it pissed some people off, there were plenty of folks who loved just about everything the man ever did.
He never played for my hometown team, but no matter where he went, it was impossible not to be drawn to the way he played the game. Whether it was Cleveland, Boston, Los Angeles, and even toward the end of his career, Manny was always the man. When people talk about Boston finally breaking the Curse of the Bambino, they have to mention his name as one of the biggest reasons the curse is no more. Folks can say whatever they want about him, but all the teams he left haven't been close to the same since he was there.
The thing about Manny Ramirez is people either love him or hate him. He really is that polarizing and for people who love them some Manny Ramirez, they LOVE them some Manny Ramirez. When he was accused of taking PEDs and one of his responses was “I didn't kill nobody. I didn't rape nobody,” it was just another reason why he is so revered by us at ETSF. Ed has been a Manny Stan as long as I can remember, and as much as both of us cut for him, Terita probably stans for him more than Ed and me combined.
Some may look at the circumstances surrounding his sudden departure as a reason to keep him out of the Hall of Fame, and if the self-righteous want to do that, then that’s their prerogative. However, when people talk about great baseball players in my generation, one of the first names that will come up is the man who made Mannywood even bigger than Hollywood. It’ll be the man who used to go through a door in the Green Monster to go use the bathroom and take calls on the cell phone.
It’ll be a man who wore his uniform six sizes too big, one with musty-ass dreadlocks, and one who hit more postseason home runs than anyone who ever lived. It’ll be one that made the routine look spectacular and had the time of his life while doing so. He’s someone who will always be revered on this site, and hopefully the rest of the baseball world will eventually follow suit and give the man his due.
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