Manny Ramirez returned to Fenway Park on Wednesday night and offered an apology to a man he had thrown to the floor years ago in a dispute over tickets.
In fact, he apologized for behaving “bad here with everybody” during his “Manny being Manny” years in Boston. The occasion was a reunion with his former teammates as they celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Red Sox’s World Series win.
First, he spoke with Jack McCormick, the traveling secretary. “I went and spoke to Jack,” Ramirez said (via ESPN Boston). “I apologized to Jack. I told him, ‘Jack, I want you to forgive me because it was my fault. I behaved bad here with everybody. I want you to forgive me.'”
Then he took the field and darned if he wasn’t being Manny again, in a good way. He ran out to chants of his name and — surprise — sported a new haircut. Gone were his long braids and in their place was a Mohawk Manny deemed a suitable look for his new gig as player-coach of the Chicago Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate.
Ramirez spoke of praying as he considered whether to go to work for the Cubs and Theo Epstein and said he was a changed man after being jailed for a few days in connection with a domestic incident involving his wife in 2012. Charges later were dropped when she declined to cooperate with prosecutors.
“When I went to jail with that problem with my wife, they didn’t let me see my kids for two or three months,” he said, “and one day I woke up and looked at myself in the mirror and I said I needed a change. I started going to Bible studies, I saw it was good. God helped me to change my life. … Now I realize I behaved bad in Boston.”