|© 2004 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.|
Manny named World Series MVP10/28/2004 1:43 AM ET
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
ST. LOUIS -- It was a wild trip for Manny Ramirez from the raucous Red Sox clubhouse to the interview room. It was as if all time had been erased since 1918 when the Red Sox last won the World Series. This year's Most Valuable Player of the Fall Classic was carried almost on a cloud, first to the crowded field outside the Boston dugout where he found his wife, Juliana. And then hand-in-hand they walked together through winding cement corridors in the bowels of Busch Stadium into a cinder block bunker to speak to the media. Ramirez had been in that same room just prior to Wednesday night's Game 4, 3-0, Red Sox victory over the Cardinals to accept this year's Hank Aaron Award as the top hitter in the American League. After the Red Sox completed the sweep and finished this postseason on an unprecedented eight-game winning streak, he was back, this time on top of the world.
"I went through a lot of drama over the winter, but I told my wife before the season started that this is going to be my year. This is the year," Ramirez said. "We did it, man. We did. We're the champs."Ramirez was honored with the Aaron Award for a season in which he hit .308 with 130 runs batted in and an American League-leading 43 homers. During the pregame interview session, he was flanked by Barry Bonds, who was honored with the Aaron Award as the top hitter in the National League. To win the World Series MVP, the first Red Sox player to ever do so, Ramirez batted .412 (7-for-17) with a homer, four RBIs and a run scored. He overcame the errors he made in left field on back-to-back plays in the eighth inning of Game 1 to throw out the tagging Larry Walker at home plate, ending the first inning of Game 3.
During the top of that first inning of that game on Tuesday night, Ramirez hit his only homer of the series to give the Red Sox a 1-0 lead they didn't surrender in a 4-1 victory. Boston never trailed in the four games, the first time that's happened in the World Series."It means a lot for me to be the MVP of the series, but it means even more for me to get the ring," Ramirez said. "That's what I really wanted. That's something nobody is going to ever take away from me. The other stuff, you never know when you're going to get it. I'm just glad to be the MVP and to win a World Series." In the dramatic winter Ramirez referred to, he came close to being dealt to the Texas Rangers prior to Christmas in the deal that would have sent Alex Rodriguez to Boston. The Players Association stepped in and nullified the trade because the union deemed that the restructuring of the Rodriguez contract would've meant a pay cut for the All-Star infielder who would soon be traded to the New York Yankees. Ramirez never quibbled about the fact that he was nearly gone. He didn't sulk, but instead dedicated himself to having another All-Star season. "I figured that if they wanted me to get back to Boston, I would go back to Boston because they didn't want me to be in Texas," Ramirez said. "I was just going to prepare myself to have a great year. There was a reason I was sent back to Boston and this is it. That's why I'm here."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.