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Ramirez with the Red Sox on May 14, 2008
|Born: May 30, 1972 |
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|September 2, 1993 for the Cleveland Indians|
|Runs batted in||1,831|
|Career highlights and awards|
Ramirez with the Red Sox on May 14, 2008
|Born: May 30, 1972 |
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|September 2, 1993 for the Cleveland Indians|
|Runs batted in||1,831|
|Career highlights and awards|
Manuel Arístides "Manny" Ramírez Onelcida (born May 30, 1972) is a Dominican-American professional baseball outfielder and designated hitter. He is currently an unsigned free agent, following a 2nd suspenstion for violating Major League Baseball's substance abuse policy.
Ramirez is recognized for great batting skill and power, a nine-time Silver Slugger and one of 25 players to hit 500 career home runs. His 21 grand slams are third all-time, 29 post-season home runs the most in big league history. He appeared in 12 All-Star Games, a streak of eleven consecutive beginning in 1998 including every season that he played with the Boston Red Sox.
Ramirez was allegedly among a group of 104 major league players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs during 2003. In 2009 he was suspended 50 games for violating baseball's drug policy by taking human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a women's fertility drug. According to steroid dealer Victor Conte, hCG is often used to restart natural testosterone production after a steroid cycle.
In the spring of 2011 Ramirez was informed by MLB of another violation its drug policy, retiring on April 8 rather than face a 100-game suspension. Later that year he requested reinstatement, granted on December 10th with the stipulation he serve a 50-game suspension if signed.
Ramirez subsequently accepted a minor league contract with the Oakland Athletics AAA affiliate. In 16 games he failed to demonstrate his former batting prowess and requested and was given his outright release on June 16, 2012.
Ramirez was born in Santo Domingo, and grew up in the Washington Heights section of the New York City borough of Manhattan. Ramirez attended George Washington High School, leaving at the age of 19 years old without graduating. He was a 3-time All-City selection in baseball, and as a high school senior was named New York City Public School Player of the Year in 1991, after batting .650 with 14 home runs in 22 games. He was inducted into the New York City Public School Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.
The Cleveland Indians selected Ramirez with the 13th pick of the 1991 draft and assigned to the Rookie-level Burlington Indians for his professional debut. He was named the Appalachian League MVP and was selected by Baseball America as short-season Player of the Year while slugging 19 homers and driving in 63 runs in 59 games, while leading the league in slugging and total bases.
With the Single-A Kinston Indians in 1992, Ramirez battled injuries but still hit .278 with 13 homers and 63 RBI in 81 games and was named as the No.3 Prospect and the "Most Exciting Player in the Carolina League" by Baseball America.
In 1993, Ramirez was named "Minor League Player of the Year" by Baseball America while combining to hit .333 with 31 homers and 115 RBI in 129 games with the Double-A Canton-Akron Indians and Triple-A Charlotte Knights.
Ramirez made his major league debut on September 2, 1993 against the Minnesota Twins, going hitless in four at-bats as the designated hitter. The following day against the New York Yankees he went 3 for 4 with 2 home runs and a double. His first career homer was against Mélido Pérez.
In his first full season in the majors, Ramirez finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting after batting .269 with 17 homers and 60 RBI in 91 games. He was selected to his first All-Star Game in 1995 and won his first career Silver Slugger Award following the season. In December 1995, Ramirez agreed to a $10.15 million, four-year contract.
From 1993 to 2000, he had 236 home runs and 804 RBI in 967 games for the Cleveland Indians, including a career-high 45 home runs in 1998, and a career-high 165 RBI in 1999, when he hit .333 with 44 homers and scored a career-high 131 runs. On September 30, 1999 Ramirez set the Indians' single-season record for RBIs at 164, beating Hal Trosky's 1936 record of 162. He finished the season with 165 RBI in 1999 were the highest total by any player since Jimmie Foxx (1938). During his time in Cleveland, he played in two World Series: 1995 and 1997.
In December 2000, Ramirez signed an eight-year, $160 million deal with the Boston Red Sox, with $20 million options for 2009 and 2010, pushing the total value of the contract to $200 million for 10 years. Ramirez immediately delivered for the Red Sox, hitting .408 in April. His final season stats were a .306 batting average with 41 home runs and 125 RBI. On June 23, Ramirez hit two monstrous home runs against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park, with the second one hitting the very top of the light tower in left field. The length of the home run was officially listed at 501 feet, just short of Ted Williams' record of 502 feet.
Manny only played in 120 games in 2002, due to a hamstring injury that put him on the DL for more than a month from mid-May to the end of June. Despite this, Ramirez won the American League batting title, hitting .349, and his .647 slugging percentage was second in the league behind Jim Thome's .677. Ramirez hit his 300th career home run on August 26 against the Angels' Ramon Ortiz. It was the first of two home runs of the night for Ramirez, as he went 5-for-5 overall.
In the summer of 2003, Ramirez missed several games with pharyngitis. When it became public that he was spotted in a bar (in the same hotel where Ramirez lives) with a close friend, Yankees infielder Enrique Wilson when Ramirez was supposedly too ill to play in the Yankees series, Boston manager Grady Little benched him for one game. Despite his strong play in the 2003 postseason, the Red Sox lost to the Yankees in a seven game showdown in the ALCS. The new Red Sox ownership and management, trying to rid themselves of his massive contract, put Ramirez on irrevocable waivers, thus making him available to any team willing to assume the remainder of his contract. However, all 29 other teams passed on the opportunity to claim Ramirez.
According to the New York Times, in 2003 Ramirez tested positive for performance enhancing drugs from the "survey" drug test, in which MLB players were tested to see if drugs were being used, but faced no penalties or sanction for testing positive.
In 2004, Ramirez led the American League in home runs (43), slugging percentage (.613) and OPS (1.009); he finished second in errors committed as a left fielder (7), third in RBIs (130), fourth in doubles (44) and total bases (348), sixth in on base percentage (.397), eighth in walks (82), tenth in runs (108), and posted a .308 batting average. He also led the AL in salary, at $22.5 million.
In addition, Ramirez and David Ortiz became the first pair of American League teammates to hit 40 home runs, have 100 RBI, and bat .300 since the Yankees' Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in 1931. Together they hit back-to-back home runs six times, tying the major league single-season mark set by the Detroit Tigers' Hank Greenberg and Rudy York and later matched by the Chicago White Sox's Frank Thomas and Magglio Ordóñez.
In the 2004 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, Ramirez hit a two-run home run off Roger Clemens in the top of the first inning, giving his teammates a 3–0 lead. Ramirez, Derek Jeter (with a single), Ichiro Suzuki (with a double) and Iván Rodríguez (with a triple) became the first All-Star quartet to hit for the cycle during the same inning. His season was capped off by being named the MVP of the World Series as the Red Sox won their first title since 1918.
On May 15, Ramirez hit his 400th home run off Gil Meche of the Seattle Mariners. Ramirez is one of only 45 MLB players in the 400 home run club. On July 5, Ramirez hit his 20th career grand slam — and his third of the season — off Chris Young of the Texas Rangers. On defense, however, he tied for the lead among all major league left fielders in errors, with 7.
Off the field, this season was one of much conflict for Ramirez. Persistent trade rumors (generally involving the New York Mets) dogged him all season. After the Red Sox were eliminated in the first round of that year's playoffs by the eventual World Series champion Chicago White Sox, Ramirez once again expressed a wish to be traded. This included a threat to not show up for spring training if his latest demand was not met by Red Sox GM Theo Epstein. Toward this end, in December 2005, Ramirez put his Ritz-Carlton condominium up for sale.
Trade rumors circulated with Ramirez possibly going to the Baltimore Orioles or Mets, but no deal was reached. By January 5, 2006, Ramirez changed his mind, stating to ESPN Deportes he was dropping the demand. His agents, in turn, insisted their client was still open to a trade.
On June 10, Ramirez became the 31st player in history to hit 450 home runs, with a solo shot off Francisco Cordero of the Texas Rangers. Three weeks later, on July 1, he collected his 2000th hit. The remainder of the season was feast or famine for Ramirez: beginning in mid-July, he had a 28-game hitting streak, including 12 multi-hit games, 8 HR, and 28 RBI, but then missed 28 games from mid-August on with soreness in his right knee.
On April 22, 2007, Ramirez was the first of four Red Sox batters to homer in consecutive at bats in a game against the New York Yankees, tying a league record. All of the home runs were against Chase Wright. On April 29, Ramirez became the fifth player to hit 50 career home runs against the Yankees.
Ramirez had a below-average year, finishing with a .296 batting average, 20 home runs, and 88 runs batted in. His season was cut short when he strained his left oblique in late August during a Yankees series, but he did return to the lineup for the final homestand of the season. In 2007, he had the highest fielding percentage (.990) among left fielders in the American League, tied for second in the Major Leagues; he was ranked 6th-highest in range factor of all AL left fielders, 1.72, 16th in both leagues, but had the lowest zone rating of Major League left fielders with 100+ games (.713). He made two errors during the 2007 season in left field, and tied for 5th overall in the Majors in assists from left field.
In the post-season, Ramirez hit a walk-off 3-run home run in Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. In the fourth inning of the series' final game, Ramirez combined with teammate David Ortiz to hit back-to-back home runs off pitcher Jered Weaver. The home run tied him with Bernie Williams for first place all-time in post-season home runs. On October 13, Ramirez hit his 23rd post-season home run, passing Bernie Williams for the most all-time.
On May 31, 2008, Ramirez hit his 500th home run, against Baltimore Orioles pitcher Chad Bradford at Camden Yards in the 7th inning on the first pitch, becoming the 24th player in MLB history to do so. He joined two other Red Sox players, Jimmie Foxx and Ted Williams, in the exclusive home run club.
A heated altercation between Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis took place on June 5, during a game at Fenway against the Tampa Bay Rays. It was prompted either, as the Boston Globe speculated, by Youkilis complaining about Ramirez having been slow in joining his teammates in a bench-clearing brawl two innings earlier (lagging behind even the team's pitchers, who ran in from the bullpen), or by Ramirez objecting to what he believed was excessive complaining by Youkilis about the strike zone, as well as the first baseman's penchant for sometimes throwing his helmet in frustration after making an out. Before the fifth inning, Ramirez was caught on NESN cameras taking a swing at Youkilis. Ramirez and Youkilis yelled at each other, and had to be separated by teammates, coaches, and training staff. Youkilis headed out to the field still yelling at Ramirez, while Ramirez was escorted into the tunnel leading to the clubhouse by bench coach Brad Mills and trainer Paul Lessard.[dead link]
Later in the season, during a series with the Houston Astros, Ramirez had a physical altercation with elderly Red Sox traveling secretary Jack McCormick. The two were arguing over the traveling secretary' inability to fill Ramirez's large game-day request for 16 tickets to the game in Houston. Ramirez pushed the 64-year-old McCormick to the ground, after telling him "Just do your job." The two were quickly separated, and Ramirez later apologized. The matter was dealt with internally, and Ramirez was fined $10,000–15,000.
On July 25, after sitting out one game against the Seattle Mariners with a sore knee, Ramirez was slated to start against the Yankees. Several minutes before the game, however, he informed manager Terry Francona, through a bench coach, that he would not be playing. During the series Ramirez was directed to an area hospital for MRIs on both his knees; the results showed no damage. When back in action, Ramirez frequently failed to run out ground balls. Assuming that this was due to his displeasure about his contract situation, many Red Sox fans and reporters, including Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe, called for Ramirez to be traded.
On July 31, 2008, Manny was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-way deal. The Boston Red Sox acquired outfielder Jason Bay and minor league infielder Josh Wilson, and the Pittsburgh Pirates got infielder Andy LaRoche, and pitching prospect Bryan Morris from the Dodgers, and outfielder Brandon Moss and pitcher Craig Hansen from the Red Sox.
Ramirez was named the National League Player of the Month for August 2008. He hit .415 (44-for-106) with seven doubles, nine home runs, 25 RBI and 21 runs scored during the month. He finished the season with the Dodgers hitting a .396 batting average, 17 home runs, and 53 RBI.
Ramirez finished the season with 37 home runs and 121 runs batted in. Among all major leaguers, he finished 3rd in batting average, 2nd in slugging percentage, and 3rd in OPS. With Ramirez in the line-up, the Dodgers won the National League West, then swept the Chicago Cubs in a division series before losing the National League Championship Series to the eventual World Series winner Philadelphia Phillies in five games. During the playoffs, Manny hit .520 with 4 home runs, 2 doubles, 11 walks and 10 RBI.
After the Dodgers lost in the playoffs, Manny was asked about his future. "Gas is up, and so am I", was his reply, indicating that he expected to be valued highly in the free agent market. After long and contentious negotiations that dragged into the start of spring training, Ramirez signed a two-year $45 million contract with Los Angeles on March 4.
On May 7, 2009, Ramirez was suspended 50 games for violating the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program established by MLB and the MLB Players Association in 2004. In the announcement by Major League Baseball, Ramirez was suspended for unspecified violation of the agreement section 8.G.2. Shortly afterward, Ramirez stated that a physician had unknowingly prescribed a banned medication. After consulting with the players association, Ramirez waived his right to challenge the suspension. According to an ESPN report, the drug used by Ramirez was human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a women's fertility drug typically used by steroid users to restart their body's natural testosterone production as they come off a steroid cycle. It is similar to Clomid, the drug Jason Giambi and others used as clients of BALCO. Testing revealed artificial testosterone, too. As a condition for returning from the suspension, Ramirez was subject to three additional drug tests per year in addition to the minimum of two per player.
During his suspension, Ramirez was allowed to work out at the Dodgers' facilities and he trained with Dodger coach Manny Mota. To get back into shape he was allowed a short rehab stint in the minor leagues. Ramirez played two games with the AAA Albuquerque Isotopes, where his appearance led to record crowds for the Isotopes. He played several games with the Single-A Inland Empire 66ers, homering in his first at-bat with the 66ers. Ramirez returned from his suspension and reclaimed his starting role with the Dodgers on July 3 against the San Diego Padres.
On July 30, The New York Times reported that Ramirez tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs during Major League Baseball's 2003 survey testing. Ramirez, a member of the Boston Red Sox at the time, was among 104 major league players to test positive.
On April 10, 2010, Ramirez recorded his 2,500th career base hit with an infield single against the Florida Marlins. On April 18 against the San Francisco Giants, Ramirez hit his 548th career home run to tie Mike Schmidt for the 14th place on the all-time home run list. He hit his 549th to pass Schmidt on May 28 against the Colorado Rockies. On June 19, he hit a home run in his second game back at Fenway Park.
In 2010, Ramirez had three separate stints on the disabled list. When he returned from the third trip on August 21, he apparently had lost his starting job to Scott Podsednik. As a pinch hitter, he was ejected on August 29 by home plate umpire Gary Cederstrom one pitch into his at-bat for arguing a strike call. That appearance was his final one in a Dodger uniform.
Ramirez was claimed on waivers by the Chicago White Sox. The Dodgers awarded Ramirez to the White Sox on August 30, receiving no prospects, but with the White Sox assuming the $3.8 million remaining on Ramirez's salary. He hit .261 with only one home run in his 24 games with the White Sox and then became a free agent at the conclusion of the season.
On January 21, 2011, Ramirez agreed to a one-year, $2 million deal with the Tampa Bay Rays, while the Rays also signed his former Boston Red Sox teammate Johnny Damon in a package deal suggested by agent Scott Boras.
The 38-year-old Ramirez cut short his tenure with Tampa Bay and in major league baseball on April 8, 2011, after just five games during which he batted .059 (1-for-17), when he abruptly retired. Ramirez reportedly tested positive for a banned performance-enhancing drug in his spring training drug test. His first sample, or A sample, was retested and again returned a positive result. Ramirez filed a notice to appeal, and a second sample, or B sample, was tested under observation by Ramirez' representatives. When the B sample also tested positive, he dropped the appeal and told the MLB that he would immediately retire.
Major League Baseball issued a statement that Ramirez had been informed of an issue under the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment program, and chose to retire rather than continue with the appeal process. Ramirez was facing a 100-game suspension, which would still apply if Ramirez ever decides to return to Major League Baseball at any point in the future. Neither Ramirez nor the players association issued a statement about the sudden retirement. Ramirez apparently did not personally inform the Rays about his decision. The team announced that they had been informed of his retirement by the MLB commissioner's office.
In September 2011, reports surfaced that Ramirez was planning on playing in the Dominican Winter League for the Cibao Eagles. In a statement, the team said that Ramirez hoped to motivate other Major League stars to play in the country. However, the MLB Commissioners office issued a statement that since the Dominican League is affiliated with MLB, Ramirez would not be eligible to play without first serving his mandated suspension.
Upon hearing that his plans to play in the winter league would not work, Ramirez decided to formally request reinstatement with MLB and that he was willing to serve his 100 game suspension for the second violation of the drug policy. He stated that he was not prepared for retirement and that he will be available for any MLB team and if none show interest, then he will "play in Japan or some other place."
On December 4 it was announced that Ramirez had formally filed the papers with the league to be reinstated to baseball and that an agreement had been reached between MLB and the Players Association that he would only need to serve a 50 game suspension instead of the original 100 games.
On February 20, 2012, Ramirez signed a minor league contract with the Oakland Athletics. The deal called for a $500,000 salary if he made the MLB roster. However, he needed to serve the 50-game suspension before he could play for the team. He was eligible to play again on May 30, 2012, when his suspension was completed. With the Sacramento River Cats he hit .302 in 17 games, but had no homers and only a .349 slugging percentage. On June 15, Ramirez requested and was given his outright release by the Athletics.
Originally from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in 1985, Ramirez joined his parents who relocated from the Dominican Republic to Washington Heights, a predominantly Dominican neighborhood in New York City. He played outfield for George Washington High School from 1989–1991.
In 2004, Ramirez missed a Red Sox game to become an American citizen. He entered the next game running onto the field to a standing ovation while carrying a small American flag held in his hand. He planted the flag in the left outfield corner of the field, in the shadow of the Green Monster, where it remained for the entire game.
Ramirez has three sons: Manuelito "Manny" Ramirez (b. 1995) from a previous relationship; Manny Ramirez, Jr. (b. 2003), and Lucas Ramirez (b. February 2006) with his wife Juliana. The family lives in Weston, Florida.
On September 12, 2011 Ramirez was arrested at his home in Weston, on a charge of domestic battery, after an incident with his wife. On October 12, he entered a "not-guilty" plea to charges of domestic battery. The charges were dismissed on March 30, when his wife refused to cooperate with the investigation.
Many stories depicted Ramirez as a carefree individual, whose concentration was dedicated solely to playing baseball. One story took place in his early years with the Cleveland Indians in June 1994. As teammates were gathered in the Indians clubhouse watching news of the O.J. Simpson Bronco chase, Ramirez asked what was going on. A player responded, "they are chasing O.J.", to which Ramirez responded in disbelief, "What did Chad do?" (in reference to then-current teammate Chad Ogea).
Ramirez was also described as a prima donna and periodically displayed a lack of enthusiasm and/or concentration, with mental lapses in both the outfield and running the bases. These incidents are typically described as "Manny Moments" or "Manny Being Manny." The first known documented usage of the phrase "Manny Being Manny" is attributed to then-Indians manager Mike Hargrove, quoted in a 1995 Newsday article.
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