BOSTON (CBS) — Hanley Ramirez is trimmer, slimmer and feeling great heading into the 2018 season.
And if Ramirez goes out and puts together a stellar season, Boston fans can thank Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
After hitting the field for some workouts on Friday, including time at first base, Ramirez sat down with reporters in Fort Myers, Florida and said he is feeling fantastic ahead of the new season. He says his health is back to 100 percent, and he’s thanking New England’s five-time Super Bowl champion quarterback for the drastic change in his routine.
Ramirez said he adopted the TB12 Method, Brady’s famous workout routine and diet, over the offseason, and he’s since lost 15 pounds thanks to the new way of life. The slugger ditched heavy lifting in the weight room, opting to do more band work instead.
So don’t be surprised if a more pliable Ramirez steps into the box for the Red Sox this season.
“My hips and swinging hands are faster. It’s effortless. I feel good things,” Ramirez explained. “At the end of the day, you just sit down and you think about changes you’ve got to make for next year. It’s tough to do those things and when you start doing that, you see the difference. The mind is telling you that it needs it.”
Ramirez said he’s only followed parts of Brady’s diet, since he has his own dietitian — whom he joked that he can’t wait to fire. Further pressed on what he learned from Brady’s giant book, Ramirez had a little more fun.
“I think we’re giving too much credit to Tom Brady,” he joked. “The good thing about Tom Brady is winning. He’s about winning and making his team better. When you’ve got a guy like that, who inspires people to get better and to show others that age is just a number when you do the little things right, that’s what he does.”
After saying he had a “terrible” year by his standards in 2017, Ramirez promises to produce in 2018. He said he hit his 23 homers last season with just one arm due to a lingering shoulder injury, so there are no excuses for not hitting the 30-homer mark this season. He hopes to play 150-plus games, but is willing to do whatever new manager Alex Cora asks of him, whether that’s play first base (he made just 18 appearances at first in 2017) or serving as the team’s primary DH.
Ramirez also said he isn’t thinking about the 497 plate appearances he needs to vest his option for the 2019 season.
“We’re not thinking about contracts down here; we just want to win championships and produce,” he said. “If you produce and win, that is going to take care of itself at the end of the year. For me, that doesn’t matter. I just want to win, and after that, we’ll see what happens.
Ramirez will have to earn his at-bats and prove that he’s worthy not just of those 497 plate appearances, but also that contract for next season. He can do so by getting back to hitting the ball out of the park.
“You’re going to see it, for sure,” Ramirez said confidently on Friday.