Manny Ramirez like a son to Charlie Manuel
Father and son. It is a cliché, true enough, but both the Dodgers' Manny Ramirez and Phillies manager Charlie Manuel say that it describes the relationship between the two of them, a relationship that dates to Ramirez' earliest days in the Cleveland Indians organization.
"He used to work with me and Jim Thome — he helped us a lot," Ramirez said. "I remember, I was just a rookie and he was like a dad for me and Thome. In a lot of situations, we always came up to him. He'd throw extra BP for us — he was great. Now, he's on the other side. Every time I come here or they go there, I joke around with him and I say, 'Hey, take it easy with me, I'm just trying to get some hits.' He's a great man. I'm just happy for him. All of the surgeries he's had, he's battled all his life. He deserves it. He's a great guy."
For his part, Manuel returns the compliments.
"Manny is like my son," he said. "I've been around him a long time. But those guys over in Cleveland, they used to say anybody who hit good was my son. They were probably right to a certain [extent]. If you don't hit, maybe you're not my son no more...
"I love Manny. I mean, he is like my son because I spent a lot of time with him...Manny, I tell you something, Manny, he's fun, he's different. He'll do some things sometimes you don't understand. But if you get to know him, I guarantee you'll like him. You'll have to like him...
"Manny is tension-free in life. I don't know if you've heard me say that. And to me that's what makes him good and that's what makes him hit. He wants to be there. He's not scared. He's not scared to fail and he wants to be there in the moment. That's what makes him good...It might look like he's nonchalant, but don't ever take that for granted because he's definitely out there trying to beat you." *