Manny nabs AL weekly honor
Ramirez soars after Sox decide to keep slugger at deadline
With the Red Sox opting not to deal Manny Ramirez at the non-waiver trading deadline last Sunday, the slugging left fielder was able to, well, just be Manny this past week.
Ramirez went 8-for-15 (.533) with three home runs, five runs scored and a league-leading 10 RBIs in five games and on Monday was named the Bank of America American League Player of the Week. With the 14th weekly award of his career, Ramirez passes Frank Thomas for the most selections all time.
Ramirez began the week by emerging from the Green Monster at Fenway Park with a sign that read, "The new episode ... Manny being Manny." While he has avoided speaking with the media for most of the season, the sign was Ramirez's way of showing everyone that he was excited to stay in Boston.
In that game against the Royals, Ramirez communicated with his bat. He slammed a three-run homer off Runelvys Hernandez in the fourth inning and added another RBI in the Sox' 6-4 win.
"This 'no trade' is probably the biggest thing the Red Sox ever did," Boston center fielder Johnny Damon said after Tuesday's game. "There's no way we could survive without Manny for two months of a playoff run. With one swing of the bat, Manny makes a difference, just like he did today."
Ramirez wasted no time continuing his tear with a three-run homer in the first inning Wednesday. The Sox won their seventh straight game that night, but lost Ramirez in the second inning when he collided with shortstop Edgar Renteria while catching a flare hit by Ruben Gotay for the final out.
"I went out there and saw Manny's nose bleeding, so I knew he was hit pretty hard," starting pitcher Wade Miller said. "I was just hoping they'd be able to get up on their own."
After leaving with a bloodied nose, Ramirez was diagnosed with two contusions, one on the right side of his chest and the other on the right side of his face. He sat out Thursday with a blurry and red right eye, but was back to inflict some damage to the Twins over the weekend.
Ramirez went 4-for-4 with a homer, three runs scored and three RBIs as the Sox beat Minnesota on Sunday to finish the week 3 ½ games ahead of the Yankees in the AL East standings. Ramirez leads the league in RBIs (103) and is tied with Texas first baseman Mark Teixeira for the lead in home runs (31).
With a .563 on-base percentage and 1.200 slugging mark, the nine-time AL All-Star and reigning World Series MVP topped Tampa Bay's Carl Crawford (.545 average, six RBIs this week), Texas' Hank Blalock (.320 four homers, nine RBIs) and Vladimir Guerrero of the Angels (.402, two homers, 10 RBIs) for this week's award.
Oakland closer Huston Street and Chicago fireman Dustin Hermanson each collected four saves and also received consideration.
Ramirez has won AL Player of the Week eight times with the Red Sox, including three this season (the others were awarded on April 25 and June 27).
According to the trade rumors, Boston could have had Tampa Bay's Aubrey Huff -- the previous AL Player of the Week -- as one of the returns in the three-way trade for their cleanup hitter. But the Red Sox seem pretty happy with their decision to keep Ramirez, especially after his monster week.
"That's the Manny everybody knows. That's Manny being Manny," teammate David Ortiz said Tuesday, making reference to the phrase that sums up Ramirez's tenure in Boston.
And for Ramirez, the Sox still seem like the perfect fit.
"Man, just let me play some baseball," Ramirez said last Sunday after the trading deadline passed and he rolled the game-winning single up the middle. "I'm just happy to be here. This is the place for me."
David Selig is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.