Manny Ramirez promises a few

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BOSTON — The Red Sox will honor the 2004 World Series championship team ahead of Tuesday’s home opener at Fenway Park, with the majority of the squad on hand to celebrate the 20th anniversary of that curse-busting season. That includes Manny Ramirez, who is promising a few “Manny Moments” during the ceremony.

While Ramirez can still swing the lumber, we won’t be seeing the 2004 World Series MVP send any moonshots over the Green Monster on Tuesday. But home runs were just part of what made Manny so special in a Sox uniform. The other side of “Manny being Manny” were the antics that occurred when he wasn’t rounding the bases.

Most of them occurred while Manny was manning left field at Fenway Park, and we might see a repeat of some of his classic moments during Tuesday’s trip down memory lane. WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche caught up with Ramirez at Sunday’s “Hot Stove, Cool Music” reunion party, and Ramirez cannot wait to get back in front of Red Sox fans on Tuesday.

When the rest of the team takes the field, there’s a chance Ramirez may be absent — at least for a moment. Perhaps he’ll be waiting to jump out of the wall in left field, as he famously did a few times during a pitching change. 

“Why not?” Ramirez replied when Roche asked if he’d be taking a different entrance onto the field Tuesday morning. 

Hopefully that leaves him plenty of time to rush in and cut off Johnny Damon, as he famously did with one of Damon’s throws from center field during the 2004 season, leading to an inside-the-park homer for the Baltimore Orioles.

“Johnny is coming back? I need to do that cutoff,” an excited Ramirez said Sunday.

Fittingly, the Orioles are in town for Boston’s home opener. 

Ramirez called Red Sox fans the “best fans ever” and hopes they enjoy the show on Tuesday. He remembers how appreciative Boston fans were when the team won it all in 2004, which ended an 86-year World Series drought for the franchise.

“I remember when we went out to restaurants people would say, ‘Thank you, you broke the curse! We’ve been waiting for this almost 100 years.’ Everybody was so happy and thankful,” recalled Ramirez. “But you have to give credit to the whole team.

“I’m happy to be back home. Such good memories I had from playing here for 10 years. I love it,” he told Roche. “It’s crazy how time flies. Hey, we’re getting old. You know that.”

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