With Manny Ramirez coming to town this weekend for the first time since the Red Sox traded him at the 2008 trade deadline, we’re taking a look back at his more memorable moments in Boston. What follows is a compilation of quotes both by and about Manny, garnered from various publications and interviews.
Said by Manny ...
“I don’t believe in curses, I believe you make your own destination.” -- Postgame interview after he was named MVP of the 2004 World Series
“I’m just here to play and win. I’m a gangster.” -- From an in an interview four hours prior to the 2005 trade deadline
“Forget about the trade. This is where I want to be. They want to win. I want to win too. ... Manny being Manny, man.” -- From an interview immediately after delivering a game-winning hit in a July 31, 2005 (midseason trade deadline) contest against the Twins. The hit came just after the trade deadline had passed and the Red Sox ultimately decided not to deal him
“Boston is not stupid. They’re not going to do it. They can say whatever they want, but when it comes to making a deal, they’re not going to pull the trigger because they know what they’ve got here.” -- Manny during the 2008 season a few days before the trade that sent him to the Los Angeles Dodgers
“You’ve got all my autographed balls.” -- In response to teammate Mike Myers’ request to sign a baseball. Manny was making a quick exit from the clubhouse at the time, attempting to escape a milieu of reporters
"Hey that's me. That's me, you know. Like I said I get paid to play baseball even if I like it or not I still gotta go and perform. I ain't got no problem in Boston, I especially like the attention. I know that I'm one of the top guys in this game and all the attention is on me, I got a lot of people on my shoulder but I'm human. ... Like I said I get paid to play baseball no [matter] where I go to play I still gotta go and perform even if I like it or not." -- Manny during spring training in 2006
“Hey, everyone’s invited to my house tonight for free drinks!” -- Shouted this to the crowd at the 2007 World Series parade over a PA system
Said about Manny ...
“They’re going to land over there in the same spot. I think there’s a parking garage over there.” -- Ex-manager Oakland Ken Macha, referring to where Manny would hit his home runs at the Coliseum
“I’m sorry [Ortiz’s] running mate, Manny Ramirez, isn’t here. I guess his grandmother died again. Just kidding. Tell Manny I didn’t mean it.” -- George W. Bush, referring to Manny’s absence at the honorary White House celebration of the Red Sox ’07 championship
“He [Manny] wasn’t on the same train as the rest of us. ... You have somebody like him, you know that at any point in the ball game, he can dictate the outcome of the game. And for him not to be on the same page as the rest of the team was a killer, man! It just takes one guy to bring an entire team down, and that’s exactly what was happening. ... It’s like cancer. That’s what he was. Cancer. He had to go.” -- Ex-teammate Jonathan Papelbon on Manny and the trade of ‘08
“I think [Ramirez] is a disgrace to the game. ... he hates the game and has no respect. ... I get sick of people in Boston adoring a guy who didn’t play hard. ... He blackmailed the Red Sox and he went on a sit down strike. He doesn’t care about anything but the next contract. ... He is an affront and an embarrassment to the game.” -- Peter Gammons on ESPN 890 AM, shortly after the trade deadline in 2008
"[Managing him] wasn’t boring. It was different from time to time. If something was private three years ago, it needs to stay private. I guess I just feel like that. I don't feel like that's a good way to be a manager. If I have a problem with a player, then when they leave, I don't feel comfortable raking him over the coals. I don't think that's a good way to go about it. We all make mistakes, myself included. This guy was a big part of what we did, and then there were some times when things weren't perfect. We certainly own up to it. But if I start bringing stuff up now, I don't know how I'd feel about myself doing that." -- Manager Terry Francona in a Monday interview on Boston sports radio station WEEI 850 AM
A tip of the cap to Daniel Pesquera of Williams College for helping to put this together.