Manny Ramirez sounds like a changed man. Just ask David Ortiz.
Ortiz, who formed a potent 3-4 combo with Ramirez in Boston from 2003 to 2008, said on WEEI’s Salk & Holley Show on Wednesday that he keeps in touch with his former teammate and that he has noticed a great deal of change in the 41-year-old slugger.
“He’s a totally different person,” Ortiz said. “I’m really happy for him and happy for his family and the way he is doing things now.”
Ramirez, of course, has established himself as one of baseball’s most polarizing figures. Whether it be his zany antics, his offensive prowess or his suspensions stemming from elevated testosterone levels, Ramirez has always had a tendency to show up in headlines. Recently, however, Ramirez has been in the news for far more positive reasons.
Ramirez, who reportedly has become more involved in religion since his days with the Red Sox, started the year in the Chinese Professional Baseball League, where he is said to have been “reinvigorated.” The Texas Rangers have since signed Ramirez to a minor league contract, and Ortiz has no doubts that his friend will return to The Show before long.
“I always believed that Manny Ramirez is a guy who is going to hit no matter what,” Ortiz said. “I think he can get the chance from the Rangers to come to the big leagues, and help them win.”
While some things change, other things — like the ability to hit a baseball — never change.