Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez were reunited in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Tuesday, as both inked one-year deals with the Rays. The two seemed to pick up right where they left off in Boston, where they were teammates from 2002-05 and were self-proclaimed "idiots" during the 2004 World Series run.
"I've [played] over 140 plus [games] for the past 15 years," Damon said at his introductory news conference, according to MLB.com. "I definitely expect to get there and hope to stay as healthy as possible."
Upon hearing this, Ramirez, who's missed a game or two with some questionable muscle strains, joked, "Let's do this: you play 100 and I'll play 62."
Both players also offered some solid yet insincere statements about how happy they are.
"I already made my money," Ramirez, who signed a $2 million deal, said. "I'm here because I love the game, I love to compete. It doesn't matter how much you make. All you want is a chance to prove to people that you still could do it."
Meanwhile, Damon, the man who claims loyalty like no other, said that playing in Tampa has long been his dream.
"This is home for me. This is my dream team," Damon said. "My family and friends are always out there supporting me. I'll see much more of them. I really love this opportunity to come back home and hopefully help this team win a championship."
Ramirez, who was likely pleased to see a considerably smaller media contingent than the ones he was used to in Los Angeles and Boston, said he's going to be "real."
"For me, it just means be myself — just go and do what makes me happy," Ramirez said when asked for the meaning of "Manny being Manny." "Every time I wake up, I thank God for the kind of man he made me, because I do what's best for me. I try to enjoy myself. And that's it. That's me. You're not going to see no fake. I'm real. I'm going to have fun and I'm going to compete. That's me for my whole life."
Damon wasn't short on confidence, either, as he expressed his belief that the Rays can compete with the Red Sox and Yankees this season.
"Absolutely this team can win the American League East," he said.
If the Rays do indeed pull it off, with the 37-year-old Damon and 38-year-old Ramirez leading the charge, it'd be some story. But don't count on it — that'd just be idiotic.
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