Kevin Millar on MFB: 'Manny throwing out the first pitch was great for the fans'

May 30, 2014 - 9:34 am

MLB Network analyst and former Red Sox first baseman Kevin Millar appeared on Middays with MFB on Friday to discuss the Sox and his return to Fenway Park on Wednesday. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page. Millar returned to Boston Wednesday night as the organization celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the 2004 World Series championship team. The player who stood out most from the event was Manny Ramirez, who threw out the first pitch before the Sox' game against the Braves that night. The organization was criticized by many for having Ramirez, whose time in Boston came to an ugly end in 2008, throw out the first pitch. Millar, however, didn't have a problem with it. "I'€™m OK with it," Millar said. "Listen, he apologized to [traveling secretary] Jack McCormick [with whom Manny had a confrontation in 2008]. ... I really lost a lot of respect at that time for Manny. And Jack'€™s a great friend and a tremendous human being, so that one really hit home. "But listen, time heals. As guys, we forgive, we all make mistakes. For Manny, it'€™s good for himself and his family to be on the right track. He admitted a lot of his problems when he was here. In his quotes, he wasn't a great person when he was here. "The moral of the story is who are we to judge and not forgive? Manny throwing out the first pitch was great for the fans. ... I'€™m not one to judge. I'€™m glad to see he'€™s got his life together." Ramirez was recently hired by former Sox general manager Theo Epstein's Cubs to be a player-coach. He is expected to work with the younger hitters within the organization. "One thing about Manny Ramirez is he has a presence, and I think we all know who Manny Ramirez is when he walks through the door," Millar said. "Discounting all the problems he'€™s had, the suspensions, we know that Manny, in his prime, was the greatest right-handed hitter we've ever seen. "If he'€™s able to give some of his knowledge, what his mindset was at the plate and what his process was and his work habits. We forget. You can'€™t beat him to the field. His work ethic was impeccable." The current Red Sox have a dilemma on the left side of the infield after signing Stephen Drew to play shortstop. Between him, Xander Bogaerts, Brock Holt, Will Middlebrooks and Jonathan Herrera, the Red Sox have numerous options at shortstop and third base. Millar said Drew to short is automatic, but Bogaerts will have to earn his spot at third as he competes with the other three players. "I know one thing, they have a good problem now because you'€™re looking at guys that, maybe competition makes you better," Millar said. "There'€™s not one guy you know that'€™s going to be hitting third or fourth at those positions, so maybe a little competition. John Farrell plays the hot hand. I know Stephen Drew will get most of the at-bats at shortstop, but Bogaerts and Holt and Middlebrooks and ever Herrera, there going to have to battle for spots at third base."