Manny Ramirez hopes to make Hall of Fame, admits he has made mistakes


Manny Ramirez knows it might never happen because of choices he made involving performance-enhancing drugs, but he hopes to reach the Hall of Fame.

Speaking to reporters after Tuesday's ring ceremony, where he participated in on-field ceremonies as a representative of the 2004 and 2007 World Series champions, Ramirez acknowledged his mistakes, but hoped for the best.

"We're praying," Ramirez said. "I think life, everybody makes mistakes, nobody's perfect, but I think with time, if it's God's will, we're going to be there. If not, hey, we're just happy we got the opportunity to play the game that we love."

Ramirez was suspended twice for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy, including in 2011, when he retired rather than serve a 100-game suspension with the Rays. He was also reported to be on a list of players who failed drug tests in 2003, though he wasn't punished for that possible transgression because the results were meant to remain private.

As a result, he hasn't come anywhere close to Cooperstown, despite retiring with 555 home runs and a lifetime average of .312.

The word often used to describe Manny Ramirez throughout his tumultuous eight years in Boston was "mercurial." It wasn't a compliment so much as a catch-all for behavior that ranged from unreliable to borderline crazy.

But time apparently matures all, because the Ramirez who spoke on Tuesday sounded surprisingly grounded.

"Right now, I've got a family, I've got three kids, and I've got a wife, and that's the most important thing in my life," he said. "That's what I enjoy right now. Being with my family, being with my mom, that's she's still alive. I thought playing against the Yankees was going to be tough, but raising boys is something different."

He also saluted his time in Boston.

"This is the best city to play in and I was here," he said. "Oh man, it's awesome. Every time I went to left field, all the fans cheering and cheering my name, it's a great feeling, especially when you come back and you see Alex (Cora) and you see (David Ortiz), and you see Pedro.

"When I came to Boston, to be honest, I knew it was going to be tough. But it also makes me a better player just to always be on top of my game and always give all I've got. I know sometimes a lot of people saw that I was maybe not working that hard, but I was working hard. I was doing my thing, I was putting my numbers, but like I said, this is an awesome place to play. It was God's purpose for me to be here and play here."

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