Manny Ramirez made a triumphant return to Fenway Park on Wednesday night as part of a 10-year anniversary celebration of the Boston Red Sox’s 2004 World Series-winning team. While he was in town, the 41-year-old issued an overdue apology to Red Sox traveling secretary Jack McCormick.
Just before Ramirez wore out his welcome in Boston and was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008, he had a physical altercation with McCormick, who was 64 at the time. As Terry Francona highlighted in his book, Manny had put in a late request for 16 tickets to a game and was told the request could not be fulfilled on such short notice. He flipped out and shoved McCormick to the ground.
“I went and spoke to Jack,” Ramirez told reporters on Wednesday, via ESPNBoston.com’s Gordon Edes. “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.'”
Manny said McCormick accepted his apology, telling him “thank you” and that he had been waiting for it.
Ramirez, who was recently hired by the Chicago Cubs as a player-coach in the minor leagues, used a lot of religious speak while chatting with reporters. He said he began going to Bible study classes after he was arrested in 2011 for allegedly striking his wife Juanita.
“When I went to jail with that problem with my wife, they didn’t let me see my kids for two or three months, and one day I woke up and looked at myself in the mirror and I said I needed a change,” he explained. “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.”
Manny certainly isn’t going to win a Nobel Peace Prize, but he still received a hero’s welcome on Wednesday. When you have a World Series MVP trophy and helped a team end an 86-year championship drought, all else is bound to be forgotten.