Manuel "Manny" Aristides Ramírez Onelcida (born May 30, 1972, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) is a Dominican-American Major League Baseball Outfielder, who is currently a free agent. A nine-time Silver Slugger, and one of 25 people to have hit over 500 career home runs, he is well recognized for his strong offensive abilities. His 21 career grand slams are tied with Alex Rodriguez for most by any active player, and the second-most all-time, behind Lou Gehrig's 23. His 28 career postseason home runs are also the most by any player in MLB history. Ramirez has been a fixture in the All-Star Game, and is a 12-time All-Star. Ramirez was allegedly among a group of 104 major league players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs during 2003 survey testing. In 2009, Ramirez was suspended 50 games for violating Major League Baseball's Performance Enhancing Drug policy for taking human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a women's fertility drug typically used by steroid users to restart their body's natural testosterone production as they come off a steroid cycle. Growing up in Washington Heights, New York City, New York, Ramirez attended George Washington High School, New York, leaving at the age of 19 years old without graduating. He was a 3-time All-City selection in baseball and as a high school senior was named New York City Public School Player of the Year in 1991, while batting .615 with 14 home runs in 22 games. He was inducted into the New York City Public School Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999. The Cleveland Indians selected Ramirez with the 13th pick of the 1991 draft and assigned to the Rookie-level Burlington Indians for his professional debut. He was named the Appalachian League MVP and was selected by Baseball America as short-season Player of the Year while slugging 19 homers and driving in 63 runs in 59 games, while leading the league in slugging and total bases. With the Single-A Kinston Indians in 1992, Ramirez battled injuries but still hit .278 with 13 homers and 63 RBI in 81 games and was named as the No.3 Prospect and the "Most Exciting Player in the Carolina League" by Baseball America. In 1993, Ramirez was named "Minor League Player of the Year" by Baseball America while combining to hit .333 with 31 homers and 115 RBI in 129 games with the Double-A Canton-Akron Indians and Triple-A Charlotte Knights.
In 2007, he had the highest fielding percentage, .990, among left fielders in the American League, tied for second in the Major League; he was ranked 6th highest in range factor of all AL left fielders, 1.72, 16th in both leagues, but had the lowest zone rating of Major League left fielders with 100+ games: .713. He made two errors during the 2007 season in left field, and tied for 5th overall in the Majors in assists from left field. In the postseason, Ramirez hit a walk-off 3-run home run in Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. In the fourth inning of the series' final game, Ramirez combined with teammate David Ortiz to hit back-to-back home runs off pitcher Jered Weaver. This home run tied him with Bernie Williams for first place all-time in postseason home runs. On October 13, Ramirez hit his 23rd postseason home run, passing Bernie Williams for the most all-time. He helped the Red Sox to reach and win the 2007 World Series, where they swept the Colorado Rockies. In the 2007 postseason, Ramirez batted .348 with 4 home runs and 16 RBI. On May 31, 2008, Ramirez hit his 500th home run, against Baltimore Orioles pitcher Chad Bradford at Camden Yards in the 7th inning on the first pitch, becoming the 24th player in MLB history to do so. He joined two other Red Sox players, Jimmie Foxx and Ted Williams in this exclusive home run club. On June 5, during a game at Fenway against the Tampa Bay Rays, an altercation between Manny Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis resulted from Ramirez objecting to what he believed was excessive - and chronic - complaining about the strike zone by Youkilis in the dugout, as well as the first baseman's penchant for throwing equipment after at-bats. Before the fifth inning - and after the Red Sox-Rays punching session - Ramirez was caught on NESN cameras slapping Youkilis. Ramirez and Youkilis exchanged words and had to be separated by teammates, coaches, and training staff. Youkilis headed out to the field still barking at Ramirez, while Ramirez was escorted into the tunnel leading to the clubhouse by bench coach Brad Mills and trainer Paul Lessard. According to three sources, Ramirez had provoked Youkilis telling him to "cut that [expletive] out." Later in the season, during the series with the Houston Astros, Ramirez had a physical altercation with Red Sox traveling secretary Jack McCormick. The two were arguing over Ramirez's large game-day request for 16 tickets to the game in Houston, when Ramirez reportedly pushed McCormick to the ground after saying "Just do your job." The two were quickly separated and Ramirez later apologized for his behavior. The matter was dealt with internally and Ramirez was fined.
On July 31, 2008, Manny was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-way deal, in which he was almost traded to the Florida Marlins. The Boston Red Sox acquired outfielder Jason Bay and minor league infielder Josh Wilson, and the Pittsburgh Pirates got infielder Andy LaRoche, and pitching prospect Bryan Morris from the Dodgers, and outfielder Brandon Moss and pitcher Craig Hansen from the Red Sox. Ramirez has always worn uniform number 24, but the Dodgers have retired that number in honor of Hall-of-Fame manager Walter Alston. Ramirez countered the Dodgers' suggestion of 28 by suggesting 34, but no Dodger has worn that number since Fernando Valenzuela. Ramirez finally accepted number 99, but the next day asked for 28, the Dodgers' original suggestion. However, the Dodgers' marketing department had already begun producing merchandise with number 99, so Ramirez stuck with that number. Ramirez was named the National League Player of the Month for August 2008. He hit .415 (44-for-106) with seven doubles, nine home runs, 25 RBI and 21 runs scored during the month. He finished the season with the Dodgers hitting a .396 batting average, 17 home runs, and 53 RBI. Ramirez finished the season with 37 home runs and 121 runs batted in. Among all major leaguers, he finished 3rd in batting average, 2nd in slugging percentage, and 3rd in OPS. WIth Ramirez in the line-up, the Dodgers won the National League West, then swept the Chicago Cubs in a division series before losing the National League Championship Series to the eventual World Series winner Philadelphia Phillies in five games. During the playoffs, Manny hit .520 with 4 home runs, 2 doubles, 11 walks and 10 RBI. Ramirez was fourth in the voting for the 2008 NL MVP award, with 138 points, behind Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard, and Ryan Braun. After the Dodgers lost in the playoffs, Manny was asked about his future. "Gas is up, and so am I", was his reply, indicating that he expected to be valued highly in the free agent market. After long and contentious negotiations that dragged into the start of spring training, Ramirez signed a two-year $45 million contract with Los Angeles on March 4.
On May 7, 2009, Ramirez was suspended 50 games for violating Major League Baseball's Performance Enhancing Drug policy. In the announcement provided by Major League Baseball, Ramirez was suspended for an unspecified violation of section 8.G.2 of the joint drug agreement. Shortly after his suspension was announced, Ramirez stated that he had seen a physician who unknowingly prescribed medication that is banned under the MLB drug policy. After consulting with the MLBPA Players' Association, Ramirez waived his right to challenge the suspension. According to an ESPN report, the drug used by Ramirez is human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a women's fertility drug typically used by steroid users to restart their body's natural testosterone production as they come off a steroid cycle. It is similar to Clomid, the drug Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi and others used as clients of BALCO. Ramirez during a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque. During his suspension, Ramirez was allowed to workout at the Dodgers' facilities and he trained with Dodger coach Manny Mota. To get back into shape he was allowed a short rehab stint in the minor leagues. Ramirez played two games with the AAA Albuquerque Isotopes, where his appearance led to record crowds for the Isotopes. He played several games with the Single-A Inland Empire 66ers, homering in his first at-bat with the 66ers. Ramirez returned from his suspension and reclaimed his starting role with the Dodgers on July 3 against the San Diego Padres. On July 21, Ramirez hit his 537th career home run, passing Mickey Mantle for 15th place on the all-time home run list. On July 30, The New York Times reported that Ramirez tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs during Major League Baseball's 2003 survey testing. Ramirez, a member of the Boston Red Sox at the time, was among 104 major league players to test positive.
On April 10, 2010, Ramirez recorded his 2,500th career base hit with an infield single against the Florida Marlins. On April 18 against the San Francisco Giants, Ramirez hit his 548th career home run to tie Mike Schmidt for the 14th place on the all-time home run list. He hit his 549th to pass Schmidt on May 28 against the Colorado Rockies. On June 19, he hit a home run in his second game back at Fenway Park. In 2010, Ramirez had three separate stints on the disabled list. When he returned from the third trip on August 21, he apparently had lost his starting job to Scott Podsednik. As a pinch hitter, he was ejected on August 29 by home plate umpire Gary Cederstrom one pitch into his at-bat for arguing a strike call. That appearance was his final one in a Dodger uniform. Ramirez was claimed on waivers by the Chicago White Sox. The Dodgers awarded Ramirez to the White Sox on August 30, receiving no prospects, but with the White Sox assuming the $3.8 million remaining on Ramirez's salary. He hit .261 with only 1 home run in his 24 games with the White Sox and then became a free agent at the conclusion of the season.
Originally from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in 1985, Ramirez joined his parents who relocated from the Dominican Republic to Washington Heights, a predominantly Dominican neighborhood in New York City. He played outfield for George Washington High School from 1989–1991. In 2004, Ramirez missed a Red Sox game to become an American citizen. He entered the next game running onto the field to a standing ovation while carrying a small American flag held in his hand. He planted the flag in the left outfield corner of the field, in the shadow of the Green Monster, where it remained for the entire game. Ramirez has three sons: Manuelito "Manny" Ramirez (b. 1995) from a previous relationship; Manny Ramirez, Jr. (b. 2003), and Lucas Ramirez (b. February 2006) with his current wife Juliana. In the off-season, the family lives in Weston, Florida. Many stories depict Ramirez as a carefree individual whose concentration is dedicated solely to playing baseball. One story took place in his early years with the Cleveland Indians in June 1994. As teammates were gathered in the Indians clubhouse watching news of the O.J. Simpson Bronco chase, Ramirez asked what was going on. A player responded, "they are chasing O.J.", to which Ramirez responded in disbelief, "What did Chad do?" (in reference to their current teammate Chad Ogea). Ramirez has been described as a prima donna and has periodically displayed a lack of enthusiasm and/or concentration, with mental lapses in both the outfield or running the bases. These incidents are typically described as "Manny Moments" or "Manny Being Manny." The first known documented usage of the phrase "Manny Being Manny" is attributed to then-Indians manager Mike Hargrove, quoted in a 1995 Newsday article.