If the New York Yankees thought their ALCS humiliation would end with old Boston Red Sox videos, they’re going to hate what their own questionable, failed motivation tactic apparently motivated an old foe to do.
On Tuesday night, MLB insider Héctor Gómez announced that Manny Ramírez is now inspired to make a baseball comeback:
“After seeing the Yankees’ performance against the Astros in the ALCS, I’ve been motivated to make a comeback. I’m going to get active again.”
Manny Ramírez says he’s going to attempt comeback after watching Yankees collapse in ALCS
One of the most prolific (albeit PED-tarnished) hitters of his era, Manny was a 12-time All-Star, won nine Silver Sluggers, a batting title, two World Series (2004, 2007), and was named World Series MVP when the Sox ended their 86-year drought.
The feared slugger spent a significant portion of his career teeing off against the Yankees, including in the postseason. With Cleveland in the 1998 ALCS (after beating the Sox in the previous round), he homered twice in the first three games against the Yankees, though they’d go on to win the pennant and the World Series.
By 2003, Manny was with the Sox. Again, he homered twice against the Yankees in a futile ALCS. In 2004, ultimately his final postseason face-off with the Yanks, he collected nine hits and five walks, but no home runs. Luckily, that didn’t stop the Sox from completing the greatest comeback in MLB history. You know, the one the Yankees were watching footage of on Sunday to prepare for Game 4 of this year’s ALCS.
In the regular season, Manny’s 55 home runs against the Yankees were the most he hit against any opponent, and his 29 at Yankee Stadium were the most he hit at any ballpark other than Fenway Park and what’s now known as Progressive Field.
But since failing a PED test and abruptly retiring in April 2011, he’s been out of the big leagues. There have been several minor-league contracts, stints playing in the Dominican and Japan, and would have played in the Australian Baseball League in 2020 if not for the pandemic.
Even if Manny (he’s always just been Manny) is joking – quite possible, given that he’s 50 years old and hasn’t played in the majors since 2011 – the announcement certainly won’t improve the dismal mood in the Bronx. Of course, they have only themselves to blame for thinking that watching clips of their own historic collapse would have some sort of galvanizing effect.