BOSTON (CBS) — Manny Ramirez has been called almost everything over the years, from a hitting savant to a bird-brained idiot to a clubhouse cancer to the greatest right-handed hitter of his generation. Now, you can add one more description: philosopher.
Since arriving at camp for the Oakland A’s last week, the 39-year-old has been offering tidbits of wisdom on how to live life the right way.
“If you go to the Hall of Fame and you’re not a good person when God calls … if you go to the Hall of Fame but lose your soul, what are you going to accomplish? You’re going to burn in hell,” Ramirez flatly told CBSSports.com’s Scott Miller.
Ramirez will be wearing his newfound philosophy on his back all year, too, as he chose the jersey No. 1 for a very specific reason. He originally wanted No. 7, which was already taken, so his second choice wasn’t difficult.
“God made the world in seven days, and everything starts with one,” he explained.
Ramirez should be thankful for his opportunity with Oakland, and he is. He retired last year after testing positive for a banned substance for the second time in two years, seemingly ending his career in disgrace. When he recently declared he hoped to return to baseball, you can imagine it was difficult to find an interesting party.
The long search for a baseball team, Ramirez says, was God’s doing.
“I think God was waiting for the right team, where the blessing was going to be. That’s why I’m here,” he said, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
Manny’s also in need of redemption for his public domestic assault charge from September, a situation he referred to as “a little problem.”
“Me and my wife had a little problem and that’s the time I said, ‘Whoa, I’ve got to reflect and make a change,'” he told the San Francisco Chronicle.
Regarding his play on the field, Ramirez says he’ll be hustling down that first-base line every single time he puts the ball in play.
“I told him,” manager Bob Melvin told the Mercury News, “one [rule] is all-encompassing that all our guys know. I expect them to bust it down the line every single time. He said, ‘I’ll be the last guy you have to worry about.'”
The last guy the manager has to worry about is Manny? There’s a first time for everything.
Oh, and that whole performance-enhancing drug thing? If Manny tests positive again, he’s banned from baseball for life.
CBSSports’ Miller asked Manny if he’ll test positive again.
“Only God knows,” Manny answered.
When told that he, in fact, would be able to know if he was going to test positive for performance-enhancing drugs, Ramirez answered again.
“You’re right. You’re right, there,” he told Miller. “But God knows what you’re thinking before you’re even thinking about it.”
It doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as Manny being Manny, but you might as well call it Manny being deep. That’s certainly a new one.