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Ramirez with the EDA Rhinos in April 2013.
|Born: May 30, 1972 |
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
|September 2, 1993 for the Cleveland Indians|
Last MLB appearance
|April 6, 2011 for the Tampa Bay Rays|
|Runs batted in||1,831|
Career highlights and awards
Ramirez with the EDA Rhinos in April 2013.
|Born: May 30, 1972 |
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
|September 2, 1993 for the Cleveland Indians|
Last MLB appearance
|April 6, 2011 for the Tampa Bay Rays|
|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 who played in Major League Baseball and the Chinese Professional Baseball League. He hit his first home run in his return as a player coach in the first home game he played in for the Iowa Cubs. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) with the Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, and Tampa Bay Rays. Ramirez is recognized for great batting skill and power. He was a nine-time Silver Slugger and was one of 25 players to hit 500 career home runs. His 21 grand slams are third all-time, and his 29 postseason home runs are the most in big league history. He appeared in 12 All-Star Games, with a streak of eleven consecutive games beginning in 1998 that included every season that he played with the Red Sox.
Ramirez was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where he met his wife, Shirly. He was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 1991 MLB Draft. He made his MLB debut on September 2, 1993. He played his first MLB All-Star Game in 1995. He signed with the Boston Red Sox in 2000. During his time in Boston, Ramirez and his teammate David Ortiz were allegedly among a group of 104 major league players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs during 2003. He led the Red Sox to World Series Championships in 2004 and 2007. In 2008, Ramirez was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-way trade deal with the Red Sox, Dodgers, and Pirates. He was named National League (NL) Player of the Month in August 2008 and was fourth in the voting for the 2008 NL MVP Award, behind Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard and Ryan Braun.
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 to its drug policy, which could result in a 100-game suspension. He chose to retire on April 8 rather than face a 100-game suspension.
In September 2011, Ramirez wished to be reinstated and in December, agreed with the league to a reduced 50 game suspension. He signed a deal with the Oakland Athletics in February 2012 and was eligible to play May 30, 2012. On June 15, Ramirez was released. He played with the EDA Rhinos for the 2012–13 offseason. On July 3, 2013, Ramirez signed a minor league deal with the Texas Rangers. He was released on August 13 due to his decreased batting power and speed. On May 25, 2014, he signed a minor league deal with the Chicago Cubs to be a coach/part-time player for the AAA Iowa Cubs.
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, hitting for a .650 batting average 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 him 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 23 homers and 93 RBIs in 81 games and was named as the number three 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 hitting .333 with 31 homers and 145 RBIs in 129 combined 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, when the Indians took on the New York Yankees, Ramirez went 3 for 4 with his first two home runs, with many of Ramirez's family and friends in attendance at Yankee Stadium. His first career homer was against Mélido Pérez. In 1994, 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.
Ramirez's breakout season came in 1995, when he batted .308 with 31 home runs and 107 RBI. In July, he was selected to his first All-Star Game and won his first career Silver Slugger Award following the season. That year, the Indians reached the postseason, and Ramirez hit two home runs in the ALCS against the Mariners, which the Indians won in six games. The Indians then took on the Atlanta Braves in the World Series, and Ramirez batted .222 with one home run in the Indians' six-game loss. In December 1995, Ramirez agreed to a $10.15 million, four-year contract.
Ramirez continued to hit well in 1996, batting .309 with 33 home runs and 112 RBI. The Indians again reached the playoffs, and Ramirez batted .375 with 2 home runs in the Indians' loss to the Orioles in the ALDS. In 1997, Ramirez's contact continued to improve, though his power dipped slightly, as he hit .328 with 26 home runs and 88 RBI. This year, the Indians again reached the World Series, and Ramirez batted .154 with two home runs as the Indians lost to the Florida Marlins in seven games.
In 1998, Ramirez experienced a great increase in power, batting .294 with 45 home runs and 145 RBI. He was selected to his second All-Star game, in which he recorded a sacrifice fly. Ramirez batted .357 with 2 home runs during the ALDS versus the Red Sox, which the Indians won in four games. in the ALCS against the Yankees, Ramirez batted .333 with two home runs, but the Indians lost in six games. Following the season, Ramirez came in sixth place for the AL MVP.
Ramirez began the 1999 season on a hot streak, hitting .337 with 7 home runs in the month of April. Ramirez's hot hitting continued, as he batted .364 in May and reached the All-Star break with 25 home runs. On September 30, 1999 Ramirez set the Indians' single-season record for RBI at 164, beating Hal Trosky's 1936 record of 162. He finished the season with 165 RBI in 1999, the highest total by any player since Jimmie Foxx (1938). That season, he was third in the voting for the American League MVP award.
In 2000, Ramirez was limited to 118 games due to injuries, but recorded a career-high .351 batting average, along with 38 home runs and 122 RBI. The Indians failed to make the postseason, finishing 5 games behind the Chicago White Sox in the American League Central.
In November 2000, the Indians offered Ramirez a seven-year, $119 million contract. While this would have made Ramirez the highest-paid player in baseball, the deal was rejected by Ramirez and his agent, Jeff Moorad, who were seeking a ten-year, $200 million contract. Ramirez was reportedly pursued by the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners, but in December agreed to 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 2001. 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 disabled list (DL) 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' Ramón 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. 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 (AL) 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 AL 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. 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 the New York Mets, but no deal was reached. By January 5, 2006, Ramirez changed his mind, stating to ESPN Deportes that 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 home run off Francisco Cordero of the Texas Rangers. Three weeks later, on July 1, he collected his 2000th hit. 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 finished 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 AL, 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 among MLB left fielders with 100+ games (.713). He made two errors during the 2007 season in left field, and tied for fifth overall in the major leagues in assists from left field.
In the postseason, Ramirez hit a walk-off three-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 postseason home runs. On October 13, Ramirez hit his 23rd postseason 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.
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 McCormick's 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 offered a public apology but did not apologize to McCormick in person until 2014. 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, Ramirez 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 NL 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 NL 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 MLB, 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 Red Sox teammate Johnny Damon in a package deal suggested by agent Scott Boras. Another Red Sox player reunited with Ramirez was Kelly Shoppach.
The 38-year-old Ramirez cut short his tenure with Tampa Bay and in major league baseball on April 8, 2011, when he abruptly retired after batting .059 (1-for-17) in just five games. 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 MLB that he would immediately retire.
MLB 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 decided to return to the MLB 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 MLB stars to play in the country. However, the MLB Commissioner's 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.
Ramirez played in the Dominican Professional Baseball League during the 2012–13 offseason, registering a .793 OPS for the Águilas Cibaeñas. He signed with the newly renamed EDA Rhinos of the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan for the 2013 season. He made his debut on March 27 against Brother Elephants. In 49 games, Ramirez batted .352 with eight home runs and 43 RBIs, placing him in the top three in all categories. On June 19, 2013, Ramirez opted out of his contract with the Rhinos, stating that he wanted to be closer to his family.
Ramirez signed a minor league deal on July 3, 2013 with the Texas Rangers. He was assigned to the Round Rock Express of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League (PCL). After noticing a decrease in Ramirez' bat speed, which resulted in a lack of power, the Rangers released Ramirez on August 13.
Ramirez signed a minor league deal with the Chicago Cubs on May 25, 2014, to serve as a player-coach for the Iowa Cubs, Chicago's Class AAA affiliate in the PCL. Ramirez hit a two-run home run in his first Iowa home game at Principal Park on June 30, 2014. Cubs prospects Arismendy Alcántara and Javier Báez credited Ramirez for his help with their swings. On August 23, Ramirez sustained a knee injury. A week later, Iowa manager Marty Pevey announced that Ramirez was going to Arizona for an MRI. With only four games left in Iowa's season, Pevey said that Ramirez was no longer going to coach and play for the team. Pevey said that he was uncertain as to what Ramirez would do next season, as he thought that Ramirez disliked the travel associated with Class AAA baseball.
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 to 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: Manny Ramirez, Jr. (born 1995) from a previous relationship; Manuelito "Manny" Ramirez (born 2003), and Lucas Ramirez (b. February 2006) with his wife Juliana. The family lives in Weston, Florida.
Ramirez has often attracted attention on and off the field for his quirky behavior and attitude. 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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|Awards and achievements|
|American League Player of the Month|
|National League Player of the Month|
|Indians' Minor League Player of the Year|
(the Lou Boudreau Award)