FORT MYERS, Fla . -- Cynics will have a field day with Manny Ramirez, who, down to his last chance in baseball and his personal life crumbling around him, now proclaims he has discovered religion and is a changed man.
“I made some mistakes and I want to show my children I can correct them,” said Ramirez, who spoke at the Oakland Athletics' training camp Friday accompanied by his wife, Juliana, and two sons, Manny Jr. and Lucas.
“I was about to lose my family. My wife brought me to church. She changed my environment and I found a lot of good people out there.”
This, from the same guy whom Terry Francona was quoted as saying was the worst human being he’d ever met in his life?
First, about that quote: There is absolutely no way a media-savvy manager of the Boston Red Sox would have uttered those words expecting they would ever end up in print.
As for Ramirez’s avowed transformation? Time ultimately will reveal its sincerity, but the world abounds with people who came to the light -- however you wish to define that -- and made a break with a past they no longer could abide. If Ramirez is indeed in a better place, it would seem the best thing we can do is be happy for him, and for his family.
“Sometimes you don’t appreciate what you have until you lose it, and that’s what happened to me,” Ramirez said. “Now I appreciate my family more, my kids, the game. I’ve got a beautiful wife, I’ve got my kids, my family and I’m getting my career back. It’s been a blessing.”