It’s been less than a week since Major League Baseball suspended Manny Ramirez 50 games for violating its ban on performance-enhancing drugs. In that time we’ve heard nearly everyone’s opinion on the subject. One person we hadn’t heard from was Manny’s old buddy, David Ortiz. Well, now we have.
Ortiz said some interesting things about the situation and even about Manny’s personality. Big Papi pretty much just piles on his old buddy without completely throwing him under the bus.
“This situation has shocked me. That’s not the guy I know. The only thing I know about him is that he’s a guy who works hard every day and gets prepared to play the game”
I just think it’s funny that the first thing Ortiz did was to distance himself from the situation. Despite the fact that it has been well documented that steroid activity was rampant and an openly discussed subject in locker rooms as recently as 2003, Papi claims he’s never heard anything about it.
But what really got to me was what Ortiz said next. Now, it has been well documented that Ortiz and Ramirez were very close. In fact, Ramirez had a hand in bringing Ortiz over from the Minnesota Twins before the 2003 season.
After all that, there’s this from Papi:
“It’s hard man. You couldn’t even reach out to Manny when Manny was here. I’m serious. Manny is on his own, always. When we were here playing together, it would have been, ‘OK, let’s meet around noon so we can have lunch and then go to the field.’ He’d say OK, and the next thing you know, you’d be calling his phone in the room and you wouldn’t reach him – and you just talked to him an hour ago. But that’s him.”
Ortiz then said it was pointless to offer advice, even if Ramirez called him.
“I wouldn’t waste my time, because he wouldn’t take it.”
He then went on to say that he hadn’t spoken to Ramirez since last season.
I just find it pretty hilarious how the entire Red Sox organization divorced themselves completely from even the idea of Manny Ramirez once they traded him. I understand they’re pissed by how he acted by the guy was a major part of two championships and – not to bring up a sore subject – but if I remember correctly, it had been quite a while since they’d had one in those parts before Manny came along.
In this interview Ortiz acts like he barely knew Manny, like they just happened to be teammates, when we all know that wasn’t the case. In fact, if anyone knew Manny was juicing it would have been Ortiz. I’m not saying he knew anything, I’m just pointing that out.