Dan Duquette, former GM of the Boston Red Sox, joined Tony Massarotti on today’s show. Duquette shares with the listeners a funny story regarding Manny Ramirez, and also gives insight as to why he brought Manny to Boston.
Mazz poses the question to Duquette, “What were the primary factors that led you to bring Manny to Boston?”.
Duquette: “Well that’s pretty easy. Manny could hit. He had distinguished himself as one of the best hitters in the game. At the time, I had never signed a premium free agent, the team was going up for sale, and we were making some changes with NESN. So we needed a star performer to help us drive the attendance, to drive the revenues, to drive the value of the team, and also to drive the value of the television station. We took a look at the market and there was A-Rod, there was Mussina, and there was Manny Ramirez. I knew Manny was going into his prime. I also knew that he could hit, he could hit for power, he was a selective hitter, and he could hit when it counted”.
Before acquiring Manny, the Red Sox were 21st in the majors and 12th in the AL in runs scored per game at 4.89. The next 7.5 years after acquiring Manny, the runs per game jumped to 5.38 which was 2nd in the MLB during that time. Manny was the centerpiece of that lineup and took the pressure off everyone else.
Duquette shared an interesting story involving Manny when he first got to the Red Sox. The first couple times Manny was walked, he stayed in the batter’s box until he was told to go to 1st base. This happened 3 times before Duquette just had to find out what was going on. So he approached Manny in the locker room following the game and asked the superstar about this. Manny’s response is priceless.
Manny, “I don’t keep track of the balls. I don’t keep track of the strikes either until I have 2. I go up there looking for a ball I can hit and if I don’t get it, I know somebody is going to tell me when to go to first base. Isn’t that what you’re paying me for?”.
Manny returns to Boston tonight and he will be the DH. Felix Doubront will make his major league debut tonight for the Red Sox and will face opposite Carlos Monasterios.