Written by Nick Sulpizio
Manny Ramirez is one of the greatest hitters in baseball history – perhaps the best bat to every come out of the Red Sox outfield. Manny helped Boston win a seemingly unreachable World Series championship, bringing joy to many Red Sox fans.
In 2008, Manny was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers and contracted a huge salary. This made Boston fans very unhappy, though the timing felt right.
Manny made his first appearance in Boston since the 2008 trade during a three-game series with the Dodgers through the weekend of June 18, 2010. The fans greeted Manny with mixed emotions: few cheered, most booed, and some didn’t have a reaction. However, when Manny hit a bomb over the Green Monster in left field during batting practice the applause was loud and clear. (Of course, the Dodger fans in attendance were more than helpful.)
Boston fans were not the only people in the park unhappy with Manny, but it seemed that the Red Sox, as a team, were not too excited to see Manny either. (David Ortiz, however, was caught giggling with Manny before the start of the first game.) Before Manny left Boston for L.A., he was begging for a trade. He complained of injuries, put traveling secretary Jack McCormick on the spot, and was involved in a scuffle with first baseman Kevin Youkilis. Clearly, Manny had worn out his welcome in Bean Town.
Dodger fans seem to think that Manny deserves recognition for what he did for the Red Sox organization (two World Series Titles during his seven and a half years with the team). Boston feels differently, as they refuse to acknowledge the lazy player and antagonist they remember before his trade.
Before Manny took the plate for his first at-bat in Boston as a Dodger, I think Red Sox fans expected some sort of acknowledgment from the historical hitter. But it didn’t come, making the fans a little more annoyed. He subsequently hit a deep shot to center field, but the ball was caught by Mike Cameron. Manny ended up going one for five in the game as the Dodgers’ DH, and struck out in his final two at-bats during the first game of the series.
Overall, Boston fans were pleased with the appearance of Manny Ramirez, but what really made their day were the slugger’s strikeouts at the end of the first game.