"Given the recent trend of success that we in Red Sox Nation have been blessed with, I hope we do not all forget the journey we have taken to get here, and specifically, the role of Manny Ramirez in that journey.
"He came to us at the last second, when we had missed out on Mussina and needed to make a splash. The kid from Cleveland with the picture perfect swing, who smiled like a Little Leaguer when he played. That was our Manny. We embraced him, we cheered for him, we placed our hopes for the future in his able hands. And he delivered for us, time and time again. In the wake of all that has happened, let us not forget that Manny gave us hope when there little to be had. When a history of near misses and complete failures weighed so heavy on us that we thought we were destined for a lifetime of misery. When the Yankees were an unstoppable force that could not be reckoned with. In the face of all these things, we had Manny. Suddenly, nothing was impossible. We had Manny. There was possibility! Because we had Manny, there was always a chance.
"True, he has not always played the game the right way, and it can be argued that his attitude was sometimes less than helpful to the team chemistry, but through all the drama he never lost that swing. It remained a thing of grace of beauty to be admired and copied by a generation of young fans. And he never lost the enjoyment of the game. While he may have been dissatisfied with the front office or the management, he never stopped loving the game. There were always moments when you could see in Manny the same kid that hauled tires up hills in Washington Heights, building his core strength so he could drive the ball 420ft. to the opposite field.
When he watched his home run off K-Rod in the 2007 postseason, arms raised in triumph, we saw that same Manny that we fell in love with. Now that his time has come to move on, for whatever reason, I hope that we do not lose sight of everything he has done for us, and when we speak of him and his time in Boston, I hope we all realize what we owe to him. For the home runs, the laughs, the championships, the intangible sense of excitement that happened every time he came to bat in the late innings at Fenway; we owe him more than to think back fondly on his time here, we owe him our hearts." -- 7.31.08, Wolfe Coleman, via BDD comments
"My Train Doesn't Stop" -- Manny Ramirez, Oct. 6. 2007
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