Trump: 'Mr. USA' Can Stay
(Trump - AP Photo / Ramirez - Boston Globe Staff Photo / Stan Grossfeld / BDD Illustration)
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Manny Ramirez, a.k.a. Mr. USA, who had come under criticism amid rumors he had been frequenting fast food restaurants while he was supposed to be at the gym last month, will be allowed to keep his position on the Red Sox, Donald Trump announced today.
"He left a big condo in Boston and he was telling me that he got caught up in the whirlwind of Ft. Lauderdale," Trump said at a news conference. "It's a story that has happened many times before to many players and many men who came to the Red Sox. They wanted their bite of the Big Mac and they found out it wasn't so easy to stay in shape."
"I've always been a believer in second chances," Trump said, standing at a podium in the atrium of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. "Manny is a good person, but Manny hasn't played hard. However, Manny is going to be given a second chance."
Ramirez looked chastened and grateful and hungry as Trump called him a man who'd "made some very very bad choices, especially last September when he chose to sit out, some very foolish choices."
Ramirez won the World Series MVP title and became a United States citizen in 2004 and has been living in Florida, hiding from Joe Kerrigan. Recent media accounts of heavy eating at Mickey D's brought a storm of criticism since he was already overweight at the time. Manny weighed 251 lbs. on Monday.
In a tear-choked voice, Manny said, "In no way did I think it would be possible for a second helping to be refused by me." Turning to Trump, he said, "You'll never know what this means to me, and I swear I will not let you down."
Trump said Manny would be entering fast-food rehab. A Red Sox nutrition official said details would be worked out privately with Manny over the next weeks.
"I think Manny is going to be the great comeback kid," Trump said after making it clear he would no longer tolerate any 'Manny Being Manny' episodes for the next two years.
If Manny had been dethroned, his position would have been taken over by left field runner-up Mr. Pawtucket, David Murphy.