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How Manny Ramirez made Hanley Ramirez late on his first day in the big leagues

Rob Bradford
April 25, 2018 - 6:09 pm

TORONTO -- Alex Cora was asked about how he viewed Hanley Ramirez, having been around him a bit now as his manager, when another question came.

"Do you think he gets a bad rap?"

The answer from Cora? "Yes." 

The Sox skipper did acknowledge how far Ramirez had come as a professional, using a story from when the former shortstop was first called up to the big leagues in 2005 to highlight his point. Cora was, after all, on that Red Sox team when the organization's top prospect was summoned to the majors during a late September road series againt the Tampa Bay Rays.

"I always liked the kid," Cora said prior to his team's game against the BlueJays at Rogers Centre Wednesday night. "I was there for his first game and it’s funny now but it wasn’t funny when it happened, that first day, we were with Manny [Ramirez] and Manny, not me, because I’m bald, but he took us to this beauty salon to do his hair. All of a sudden we look up and it’s 3:40, 4 o’clock and Hanley is there. At that time, there’s no Ubers. It’s either car with Manny or wait for a taxi and me and Hanley. We walked in a little bit late for his first big-league day and I know Wake [Tim Wakefield] mentioned it to him and I was telling him the story the other day and I was like, 'Man, that was unreal. Manny put me in a bad spot.'

"For me, he’s always been great. I always got along with him. I don’t know if it goes back to that day that he remembers I was there with him but now that you spend a lot of time with him and you see him around, first of all, in Tampa, he met my family for the first time and the kids and he’s grabbing my kids and he’s genuine. He’s always around his kids and he cares about the Pedroias and I think that’s awesome. And second, what he does to prepare. I don’t want to say it’s Manny-like because you guys know how Manny went about his business but he’s pretty close. It’s a process, starting in the mornings and he goes through all this stuff to get ready at 7:05, that’s impressive and I think people don’t realize that. They just see him out there and playing mean and playing mad, there’s a lot of players in the big leagues that they play that way, they have an attitude on the field and that’s their edge, but he takes pride every day to be ready at 7:05."

Ramirez entered Wednesday night hitting .333 with an .892 OPS in his first 19 games, hitting three homers to go along with three stolen bases. The first baseman/designated hitter is also hitting .524 (11-for-21) with runners in scoring position.

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