By Rachel Nichols
Page 2

EDITOR'S NOTE: On occasion, we all need help. But where to turn? Fortunately, Rachel Nichols is here to bring us the special kind of advice that only the world's greatest athletes can dole out. Whether to take it or not ... well, that's up to you. Today's Ill-Advised expert: Manny Ramirez, Boston Red Sox slugger.

RACHEL: So it's "Dear Manny" this week. Millions -- OK, maybe dozens -- of people are looking to you for words of wisdom. So what's the best advice anyone ever gave you?

MANNY: The best advice that I have is from my dad, who says, 'Be patient. The best thing is another day of sun, so you have to just move on.'

RACHEL: Except that we're in the middle of a hurricane up here.

MANNY: Except that. But turn the page. That's what we say in this clubhouse. Turn the page.

RACHEL: Turnin'. Our first question is from Ronnie Rinker in Peoria, Arizona. He says, "I'm about to turn 20, and I've never had a girlfriend. Help." Apparently, Ronnie needs some action. Give him a little insight into the Manny magic.

MANNY: Well, I would go over to a girl, say hi to her, give her a flower, say 'Hey, you're real pretty; maybe I could take you out?'

Manny Ramirez
Was that the dance move you were talking about, Manny?

RACHEL: Yeah, in a Meg Ryan movie, maybe. But in reality -- psycho alarm.

MANNY: Hey, you see what she says. If no, then you haven't lost anything.

RACHEL: That's easy for you to say -- you're Manny Ramirez. Did you ever have trouble with girls, like before you were a famous baseball player?

MANNY: No, because I'm a good dancer, and girls like that. We used to have these salsa parties in school. They had competitions, and I won all the time. I have moves.

RACHEL: Manny Ramirez, Salsa King. Who knew?

All right, this is from Dana Shrone in Albuquerque. She says, "My basketball coach has threatened to suspend me because I've never washed my lucky shirt. I don't want to wash away a winning streak; and besides, it distracts my opponents. How can I make my coach understand?"

MANNY: Nomar used to be here, and he was really into ... well, he always wore the same thing under his jersey, let's say. But Nomar was clean. I mean, really clean.

RACHEL: I say, if you can use the smell like a sixth man, go for it. Just stay on your end of the bench. So do you have any special clothes?

MANNY: No, I'll wear anything.

RACHEL: I can see that. You appear to have mugged a very flamboyant crocodile today.

MANNY: Hey, I grew up in New York. I like some wild shoes.

RACHEL: OK, let's see what you can do for Frank Magliozzi of Providence. He says, "I've got a Rotweiller, and my buddy says I could make some money if I have him fight. But it feels wrong. My dog isn't very nice to me -- does that make a difference?"

MANNY: Urgh. Give it away, man. How would he feel if the dog got killed in the fight?

RACHEL: The mess, the guilt, the Senate hearings. Is that why you don't have any pets? Or are you just too busy?

MANNY: No, I'm not busy. I don't really do that much.

RACHEL: Good to know. The man has two months of spring training, 162 regular season games and the playoffs -- and apparently still lots of time to fill. Maybe with luck, this advice thing will take off for you.

Dazzle us on this one, from Peter Miller in Miami. Peter says, "I have a weird phobia. I get freaked out every time I see one of those big, fuzzy mascots at sporting events. But I don't want to stop going to games."

Manny Ramirez
Manny's version of the Electric Slide.

MANNY: Hey, man, say no to drugs.

RACHEL: Maybe he could make friends with a mascot. He could go golfing with that Italian Sausage from the Brewers. Or he could catch a movie with Billy the Marlin.

MANNY: Yeah, he should take him out. Take him out to South Beach. They could go to dinner, maybe things would get nice later ...

RACHEL: A weekend for two in the Keys? I guess that's a whole different column.

So what's the best advice you can give?

MANNY: Listen to your parents. Like right now, I have three cars. And I'm thinking about buying another one, like a 1969 Cadillac. But I already have a '67 Lincoln. So I talked to my dad. He said, you've already got one, so why waste your money on another one?

RACHEL: Not the worst problem to have, by the way. So are you going to follow your own advice, and listen to your dad about the car?

MANNY: Yeah. Well ... no. Probably not.

RACHEL: Well, you know what they say. Just turn the page.

Got an issue or a question, or otherwise need to be 'Ill-Advised' in the future? Send it to Rachel Nichols right here.