Ramirez worked out this winter in Davie, Florida, at Perfect Competition. He connected with Greg Brown, its director of baseball training and a minor league catcher with the Marlins.
He kept asking me, 'How was that?' or 'Where are my hands?' Questions like that. I was very standoffish. Here I am, a struggling minor league backup catcher and Manny Ramirez is asking me for advice. I kind of let him do his thing, but he kept asking me. In the first 15 minutes, he probably asked me about 10 times, so you keep knocking on the door I'm finally going to say something. So I opened up to him.Bradford notes that as spring training grew closer, and Brown had to attend morning workouts with the Marlins, Ramirez volunteered to take part in the lifting and running portion of the session and then come back in the middle of the afternoon for the baseball workout with Brown.
For whatever reason, we just took off together and had a real bond from the start. All the way up to the day he reported, we were hitting five days a week.
If I read that right -- and I'm going to bold this -- Manny was willing to head over to the Marlins' camp (partially as a courtesy to Brown, I guess) and work out there and then come back and do his own work in the afternoon. Damn! ... Brown:
This guy is a workaholic. He was the earliest guy there every single day, he didn't take breaks and just got after it. There wasn't a day that went by he didn't have a quote like, 'Champions are made in the offseason.' If the real Manny was portrayed to everybody, he would be the face of baseball, and he should be. His personality, the way he carries himself, he's just an outstanding guy. He's ready. I've never had more confidence in a player going into spring training. That man is ready to tear it up.Further destroying the "lazy quitter" image of Ramirez, SoSHer Frisbetarian writes:
In the three seasons preceeding 2006 (2003-2005), there were seven regular players on the Red Sox including: Varitek, Millar, Muellar, Ramirez, Damon, Nixon, and Ortiz.This does not sound like the work habits of a man who quits on his teammates.
Manny led the group in games played, playing 15 more games (458) than Johnny Damon, who at 443 was 2nd over that period. No one else played more than 437 games, more than 20 less than Manny, and Nixon played a mere 306 games, 152 less. ...
Over the past 12 seasons, Manny has averaged almost 620 plate appearances a season. During that period, he is among the top ten players in the major leagues in games played.