ESPN Boston – The last we saw Manny Ramirez, he had abruptly retired from baseball early last season after a second violation of baseball’s performance-enhancing drug rules, choosing to walk away from the game rather than serve a 100-game suspension. Ramirez wasn’t heard from again until September, when he was arrested on charges that he slapped his wife after an argument. A few months later, Ramirez filed for reinstatement from Major League Baseball’s retired list and his ban was shortened from 100 games to 50.
Talk about an all around bad year for one of the greatest right handed hitters of all time. Manny will always hold a special place in my heart not just for what he did in Boston, but for keeping us on our toes with his wild antics throughout his career. So when everything broke down for Ramirez last season, it sucked. Not just because he was out of baseball and pretended to retire, but because one of the legends of baseball was losing his life. Yes the guy is a clown, but if you don’t admit that he entertained you then you are a liar.
In a video from ESPN, reporter Pedro Gomez talks to Ramirez and they discuss Manny’s fight to restore his image and his family life. Here is some of the Q-and-A provided from ESPN:
Q. Why do you want to come back?
A. “I want to show people that Manny can change, that he can do the right thing. And to show people that I still can play. I don’t want to leave the game like I did. I also want to show my kids that if you make a mistake, don’t quit. Just go back and fix it. And if you’re going to leave, leave the right way.”
Q. Why should a major league club give you a chance?
A. “First, because I can still play. Second, because I’m going to be a role model. A bunch of guys are going to look at me and say hey, this guy made a mistake but he didn’t quit. Look how he finished. He did the right thing and came back.”
Q. What impact did the arrest have?
A. “It was bad, I almost lost my family.”
Q. What do you want to show people that has changed?
A. “That I’m going to do the right thing, I’m going to keep my family.”
Q. What do you think your Hall of Fame chances are now, having been twice violated baseball’s performance-enhancing drug policy?
A. “For me, now, if it happens, it’s a plus. But I got my hall of fame right here, my family.”
Q. Do you think you can still play?
A. “I know I can still play the game and I’m trying to get better. Doing this, it’s made me realize that you don’t know what you have until you lose it.”
Q. Is there anything you’re still learning about hitting?
A. “Hitting is about repetition. So that’s why I picked up swinging. It’s not only your body, it’s your mind. When you’re doing everything right, and you’re firm in life, everything comes easy. But when you have all these problems in your head and with your family, it’s hard to concentrate.”