For the first time in quite a while, Manny Ramirez spoke to reporters regarding a number of topics at Boston’s annual sports gala.
“The Tradition” is an annual gala held at the TD Garden in Boston by the Sports Museum. The 18th annual fundraising gala honored a number of Boston sports legends such as Zdeno Chara (Bruins), Manny Ramirez (Red Sox), Michelle Kwan (Figure Skating), Paul Silas (Celtics), Matt Light (Patriots), and Ben Crenshaw (Golf).
Before the event on Wednesday night, Red Sox legend Manny Ramirez took the time to speak with a select number of reporters.
“I’m so happy to be back home. This is awesome. I’m glad to be here,” said Ramirez.
As one of the most likable Red Sox and Boston sports legend in the city, much of Wednesday’s interview with Ramirez was just Manny being Manny. “It’s about time,” Ramirez said when asked what he though of being honored on a big stage.
“Going inside the Green Monster. That was definitely my favorite moment in Boston.”
Aside from his typical shenanigans and likable personality, Ramirez put in some serious work as a member of the Red Sox. With 550 career home-runs, 2,574 hits, .312 batting average and 1,831 runs batted in, Manny was a menace on the baseball field. But those statistics didn’t come without speculation.
Playing in the prime of the steroid era, Ramirez is criticized heavily after being suspended by Major League Baseball twice in 2009 (50 games) and 2011 (100 games) for violating baseball’s drug policy that eventually ended his baseball career in the MLB.
“It was a good thing for me because it made me grow up. Maybe a lot of people didn’t get caught. Everything happened for a reason. I’m in a better place. I don’t regret it,” said Ramirez.
Eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2020, Ramirez is hoping time can heal all wounds and that voters can overlook his mistakes. “We’ll see what’s going to happen. In 15 or 20 years, I’ll probably get in. It don’t matter; as long as you get in you’re fine.”
Steroids or no steroids, Ramirez will always be a legend in Boston. “The fans always support no matter what.” Ramirez even said he’d like to see former teammate Curt Schilling, who is also eligible in 2020, to get into the Hall.
“Why not? He was one of the best pitchers ever. He deserves it.”
When asked if he has realized how special Boston is, Ramirez said, “I guess. You keep growing up and maturing. When you’re young, you don’t appreciate what you have.”
Helping to break the infamous curse and winning a World Series title for the Red Sox in 2004, Ramirez doesn’t take any credit for changing the outlook of the franchise. “They did the job. You cannot take anything away from them but 2004 was really special because people were waiting for that. It was no curse, we just made it,” said Ramirez.
If Ramirez appears on over 75 percent of the ballots filled out, he will gain induction into the baseball hall of fame. “It’s the same thing as Pete Rose. Let the guy get in. Everybody make[s] mistakes.”