Who's the Manny?
October, 7, 2007
The afternoon the playoffs started, Wednesday, Manny Ramirez took his place in the cage to begin his hitting routine. The headdress of the day was bright green, and the fans who had arrived early at Fenway Park chanted his name while the Angels players stretching on the third-base side of the cage yelled to him. But unlike on so many of the day-after-days of the regular season, Ramirez seemed to shut them out. His concentration level was that of Bobby Fischer, and he spun drive after drive all around the park, off the screen in front of batting-practice pitcher Ino Guerrero, off the wall, into right center, into the Monster seats, into the bullpens. Vladimir Guerrero, who splits time with David Ortiz as the game's most popular player, came to the side of the cage to needle Ramirez, who never acknowledged him. "It is amazing," Red Sox hitting coach Dave Magadan said, "how different it is when the season turns into October. There is a switch that goes on for some guys that puts them in lock."