Manny is getting another shot at baseball, thanks to the A’s. Oakland signed Ramirez to a minor-league deal for $500,000, just slightly more than the league minimum of $480,000. Ramirez's second 50-game suspension ended on May 30, 2012. On June 15, Ramirez requested and was granted a release from the A's.
Who is Manny Ramirez?
There are so many ways to describe slugger Manny Ramirez: One of baseball's purest hitters. Charismatic man-child. Enigmatic troublemaker. Unapologetic and petulant. Easygoing and carefree. Polarizing public figure. Mercurial. Cheater? Team savior. Clubhouse distraction. Love him or hate him, there's nobody quite like him. You could never tell which Manny would show up from day to day — and that was all part of the fun. Revisit some of his more memorable antics through the years.
Manny the slugger
He's not exactly outstanding in left field — usually it's more like out standing in the field — and he doesn't exactly burn up the basepaths. But, oh my, can Manuel Aristides Ramírez Onelcida ever hit a baseball. He's a nine-time Silver Slugger, and one of 25 people to have hit over 500 career home runs. His 21 career grand slams are the most by any active player, and the second-most all-time, behind Lou Gehrig's 23. His 28 career postseason home runs are also the most by any player in MLB history. He was welcomed with open arms in Boston (from Cleveland) and later, Los Angeles, for his hitting ability and the way his presence in a lineup can change a team's offense.
Look what you started
Game 3 of the 2003 ALCS, on Oct. 11 at Fenway, turned hostile when Red Sox starter Pedro Martinez threw a fastball behind the head of Yankees right fielder Karim Garcia in the fourth inning, which led to some shouting by both teams. In the bottom of the inning, Manny objected to a high, inside pitch by the Yankees' Roger Clemens, which led to some more shouting, which led to both benches and bullpens clearing, which led to Pedro Martinez shoving 72-year-old Yankees bench coach Don Zimmer to the ground. Nobody was ejected and Clemens went on to strike out Ramirez and then retired David Ortiz and Kevin Millar to end the inning.
On July 21, 2004, Manny made a typically airheaded play in the field, cutting off a throw from center fielder Johnny Damon, which allowed David Newhan to score with an inside-the-park home run.
Adventures in the Green Monster
Manny would often disappear into the Green Monster between innings. On July 9, 2008, he could be seen talking on a cell phone as Javier Lopez entered the game in relief. On July 18, '05, he disappeared into the wall, just barely getting back into position in time to make the first pitch of the bottom of the inning. Asked what he was doing in there, Manny explained that he urinated into a cup. In this photo, dated July 13, 2008, he can be seen toasting the crowd with a beverage ... at least we think that's a beverage.
High fives all around
On May 14, 2008 at Camden Yards, Manny took time to high-five fans in the middle of a double play. He climbed the wall to rob Kevin Millar of a home run, had a little fun with the crowd and still relayed the ball to the infield in time to double the runner off first. He collected some more high fives in the dugout.
What happens in the dugout, stays in the dugout
On June 5, 2008, Manny got into a shouting match in the dugout with teammate Kevin Youkilis. The two had to be separated. TV cameras caught Manny swinging and pointing at Youkilis before being escorted down the runway toward the clubhouse. Manny's only response afterward was "Don't worry about it."
Manny has a unique ability to polarize a city. Even Red Sox fans who once loved their affable goof, turned on him in the summer of 2008, when a series of events led to an irreparable relationship with the Red Sox. Among the complaints the Boston faithful had against Manny, who had been criticizing upper management, were that he sat out a game against the rival Yankees, forgot which knee he claimed was sore, and failed to hustle on ground balls. Perhaps the breaking point was when Manny shoved the team's traveling secretary to the ground over a ticket dispute. On July 30 Manny told reporters, "The Red Sox don't deserve a player like me."
Manny was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers on the trade deadline, July 31, 2008. He made an immediate impact on the team, becoming instantly beloved in his new city. He carried the team to the playoffs that season. The Dodgers even named a section of the left-field seats Mannywood.
After protracted contract negotiations, Manny re-signed with the Dodgers for the 2009 season. However, his love affair with the team and the city hit an abrupt snag on May 7, 2009, when he was suspended 50 games for using a banned substance. He was using HCG — human chorionic gonadotropin — a women's fertility drug, according to reports. Manny claimed the drug was prescribed by a physician for a "personal health issue." Manny was apologetic and did not appeal the ban.
Love-hate, part deux
Manny was greeted with mixed reaction from Dodger fans upon his return from suspension on July 3, 2009. There was an almost equal mix of boos and cheers on that night and over the course of the season, Manny seemed to once again win over most L.A. fans.
Here we go again
Manny said during the offseason that 2010 would be his final season with the Dodgers. "I know I won't be here next year, so I'll just enjoy myself," he said. "I'm happy I'm here now, I just know I won't be back."
Writing's on the wall
On Aug. 3, 2010, the Mannywood sign on the Dodger Stadium outfield wall was taken down. A club spokesman explained that the sign was gone because the John Hancock Insurance Co. purchased signage in each corner for the final two months of the season. Hmm.
End of an era?
On Aug. 25, the Dodgers placed Ramirez on waivers. The move came shortly after Ramirez had returned from his third stint on the DL in 2010. On Aug. 27, the White Sox claimed him. A deal was in the works for the Mannywood era in Hollywood to come to a close.
On Aug. 29, 2010, Manny was ejected from what would prove to be his last at-bat in a Dodger uniform. On Aug. 30, the Chicago White Sox claimed the 12-time All-Star slugger on waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers, hoping his bat could help them make a postseason push. Brace yourself for the next chapter of Manny being Manny as he joins forces with the ChiSox's colorful manager Ozzie Guillen — perhaps the only person who can give Manny a run for the money.
New city, same act
On Aug. 31, 2010, Manny met with the press for the first time in a White Sox uniform. He also wore sunglasses and an MP3 player. And despite the fact that he has spoken fluent English for years, he requested that bench coach Joey Cora act as his interpreter. He didn't mention anything about cutting his famous dreadlocks, but the White Sox did have a barber standing by.
Reunited and it feels so good
Manny became a free agent after his two-month stint in a White Sox uniform. In 2011, he'll be reunited with former Red Sox teammate Johnny Damon in Tampa Bay. The Rays signed both players on Jan. 21, 2011. Damon played for the Tigers in 2010.
Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez yuk it up at their Rays introductory news conference on Feb. 1, 2011, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Manny behaved himself but did get off a few quips. When the pair was asked if either of them could still play 162 games, Manny turned to his old pal Damon and said "You play 100, I'll play 62."
Oops, he did it again
After struggling through the first week of the 2011 season, Ramirez abruptly retired. MLB issued a statement alluding to more trouble regarding the league's drug policy.
Take me back
Ramirez, who will be 40 on May 30, applied for reinstatement to Major League Baseball in December. He was suspended for 100 games last year but the ban was trimmed to 50 because he sat out nearly all of last season. The suspension would start with the first game he is eligible to play after signing with a club as a free agent. The A's indicated they would be open to signing him.