Our Manny Speaks, With JUST A Touch Of Grey
Manny, with just a touch of grey in his locks, spoke out. He spoke out well. I want you to read this, from Red Sox MLB dot com. I enjoyed it so very much...
"The experts will tell us one of the keys to aging well is to continue learning along the way. Older and wiser, as the saying goes. And, occasionally, we learn something about ourselves along the way, too.
"I'm older," said Manny Ramirez, who turns 36 on May 30 and has tinges of gray in his flowing braids and scruffs of whiskers attest to his observation.
"The thing is, be older and be smarter. The older you get, the smarter you get. We don't hope. That's just the way it is." On this morning, he (Manny) was uncharacteristically willing to share his thoughts with a clubhouse visitor.
Ramirez said he learned during his offseason workouts at the Athletes' Performance in Arizona -- where his workout partners were teammates Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia -- that he could work smarter without working harder, and get better results you get." Ramirez has new training and dieting habits to match his wiser disposition.
"We didn't do a lot of running, [or] a lot of cardio," said Ramirez, who noted that there was about 20 minutes of running. "But our workout was, like, two hours. The most important thing is doing the exercise right, because sometimes you do the exercises and you're doing the right exercises, you're just doing them wrong."
Ramirez enters this season -- his 16th -- just 10 home runs shy of the vaunted 500-home run plateau. Averaging better than 32 long balls a season, he hit just 20 in 2007, his lowest home run output since he hit 17 in 1994, playing in just 91 games. Most of his offensive numbers were down last season compared to his career averages. His .296 batting average was 16 points lower than his .313 career mark. Slugging (.493 compared to .593) and on-base percentage (.388, .409) were also down.
Is the power of positive thinking tied into becoming a member of the 500 home run club for Ramirez? Possibly. In addition to staying healthy, a perennial goal, Ramirez said for the first time in his career he has set actual numerical goals for the season. But, for now, he's not revealing those.
Ramirez reflected on the Sox's 2007 World Series season. "Every time you win in Boston, it's special, because they go crazy. They love it and they're the best fans ever. When we go away, it's like we're playing at home. You got more fans on your side. It's great, they follow us everywhere."
While Ramirez is not contemplating an imminent retirement, he is making plans for that eventuality. "You're blessed. That's why every day you can't complain. You're making so much money and your kids are healthy. And you got everything you want."
Older and wiser. Leaner and lighter. Focused on goals. This could be an interesting season for Ramirez -- and American League pitchers."
Peter here...and we are blessed to have you, Manny. And it WILL be an interesting season, one filled with all the hopes and dreams that we're capable of feeling. And I love it! Click on the title for the entire article. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did. It touched my soul. But so do the Boston Red Sox. And they will forever and ever. By the way, so do you, every day in every way....