June 20, 2022

Manny Returns To Fenway!

(Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) Manny joined Kevin Millar and Dennis Eckersley in the NESN booth for the bottom of the fourth inning! It's fantastic to hear Millar and Manny cracking each other up.

Millar told a story about how Manny (in 2003) struck out looking on three fastballs against Toronto's Roy Halladay, mystifying Millar, but the next time up Manny sat on a breaking ball and crushed it into Skydome's fourth deck. "That's not normal, Manny!"

One slight problem:

Manny did not homer off Hallday in 2003. In fact, he hit only one home run off Halladay in Toronto as a Red Sock. It came on May 26, 2006. Millar was playing for the Orioles that season.

Manny hit three dongs in his career off Halladay. The other two: May 5, 2000 (with Cleveland) and April 19, 2005 (at Fenway). If you're wondering if perhaps Millar confused the ball parks and it actually happened in Boston, Manny's homer that day came in his first at-bat.  

Joy of Sox, May 14, 2008:
Manny turned in the Play Of The Season: With one out in the bottom of the fourth, Nick Markakis was on second and Aubrey Huff was on first. Boston led 1-0. Kevin Millar crushed Lester's first pitch to deep left. Manny sprinted back, reached up and caught the ball over his shoulder, took two steps to the wall and leapt up against it to brace himself, high-fived a fan in the first row, then came down, turned and threw the ball in to Pedroia, who fired to Youkilis to double off Huff and end the inning.

NESN later showed several of Manny's teammates -- Lowell and Ellsbury among them -- gathered around one of the cameras by the dugout, crouching down to look very carefully at the replay and laughing. I can't wait to read (or hear) Manny's post-game comments on this play. Also, I hope at least one writer headed out to find that fan.
In the game thread, the Manny play happens at 1:06.

I recall at the time not being exactly sure I really saw what I thought I saw. Sure enough, I posted at 1:11: "i thought i saw a high five when it happened live. . . . man, we are gonna miss that guy one day."

After the game, I posted "The Ultimate Manny Moment":
Manny Ramirez -- the only player in baseball history to high-five a fan while in the middle of turning a double play!!!

And then he celebrates with his teammate in center field -- who is making his major league debut! . . .

The catch itself was stunning -- what happened afterwards is the stuff of legend.
My comment there:
When it happened, I swore I saw Manny high-five or whack the arm of a fan, but after the catch, I had to calm one of our dogs down -- as L and I were whooping and clapping. She got scared.

But I was thinking -- did what I think just happen actually happen? ... Yep.
And I totally forgot this: the guy Manny high-fived left a comment!


Zenslinger said...

Millar is killin' me -- *killin'* me -- in the booth. Too loud, talks too much, and his laugh. Argh.

Zenslinger said...

Box score fun today for Michael King of the MFY. His line is allllll ones, even 1.0 IP.