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Red Sox Manny Ramirez -vs- Yankees Roger Clemens

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Manny Ramirez -vs- Roger Clemens

Who's better, Manny Ramirez or Roger Clemens?

Manny Ramirez
Roger Clemens
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Manny Ramirez Scouting Report


2003 Season
Manny Ramirez had another fine offensive season, but the Red Sox' cleanup hitter sure stirred up a hornet's nest along the way. He missed a crucial series against the Yankees in late August due to a throat infection, amid published reports that he was seen in a hotel bar one night and that he failed to show up at the park the next day. The following day, he begged off a pinch-hitting assignment, and then was benched for a game. Amid all the controversy, it was easy to overlook that he led the league in on-base percentage and came within a point of winning his second straight batting title. After the season, the Red Sox put him on waivers, but no other team was willing to take on his contract.


Hitting
Ramirez combines power, contact and patience in a way not seen since Frank Thomas was in his prime. Ramirez has tremendous plate coverage and can drive an outside pitch to the opposite field with frightful power. His quick hands make him just as dangerous on pitches inside. He has a good eye, and will take a walk if he doesn't get his pitch. Although he never holds anything back, he has good enough bat control to be an excellent two-strike hitter.


Baserunning & Defense
The best that can be said for Manny's baserunning and defense is that it isn't as bad as it looks. He has long, loping strides, but he doesn't loaf as often as he appears to. His range is limited, however. He has a fairly strong arm. Ramirez usually runs the bases one at a time, and hamstring problems slowed him further last year

The man - or the Manny - the Red Sox couldn't give away last winter will go down as the most valuable player of the World Series victory most in Boston never thought they'd live to see.

A few hours after accepting the Hank Aaron Award from baseball's all-time leading slugger for his stellar regular season, New York product Manny Ramirez copped the ultimate postseason honor following Wednesday night's series-sweeping 3-0 victory.

Ramirez, who didn't drive in a run in the Sox's seven-game ousting of the Yankees in the ALCS, was voted Series MVP after leading Boston to its first title in 86 years with a .412 batting average in the four games.

"Man, this whole year has been amazing. I can't believe this has happened," Ramirez said in a champagne-soaked clubhouse celebration nearly nine decades in the making.

"I was almost out of here. I went through a lot of drama in the winter, but once I got out there with these guys, that was all over.

"This team never let up all season. A bunch of idiots, maybe that's right. But we are the champions. We are the best. And we deserve it. I am proud to stand here with these guys."

Despite his phenomenal hitting, Ramirez was available on waivers last winter, as the Red Sox looked to rid themselves of his aloof attitude and his $20 million annual price tag. After Boston found no takers, they nearly traded him for Alex Rodriguez a short time later before that deal fell through.

Instead of sulking as fellow star Nomar Garciaparra did before he eventually was traded, a more focused Ramirez underwent a transformation with his teammates and with the media this season. He revealed last night that he told his wife during spring training, "Hey baby, this is going to be my year. This is the year."

"And we did it, man, we did it. We're the champs," said Ramirez, who led the AL with 43 homers this season. "It means a lot. I wanted to get the ring, and I have it. That's something that nobody is ever going to take away from you."

Ramirez also will have his MVP trophy to show around Washington Heights after he tied for the team lead with David Ortiz and Mark Bellhorn with four RBI in the Series. Despite committing two errors in Game 2, Ramirez even made a key defensive contribution in Game 3 when he threw out Larry Walker at the plate to complete a double play.

"(Curt) Schilling, Pedro (Martinez), D-Lowe, all the pitchers, they are the MVP's here. Without them, we never make it," said Ramirez, referring also to Game 4 winner Derek Lowe. "But I'm blessed to be the MVP and to win a World Series. I think God is blessing me with a lot of stuff right now. . . . There's nothing that I can complain about."

 

Roger Clemens Scouting Report

William Roger Clemens (born August 4, 1962 in Dayton, Ohio), nicknamed "The Rocket", is among the preeminent Major League baseball pitchers of the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s.

Clemens spent most of his childhood in Texas. He attended high school in the Houston area, and was on the mound when the University of Texas won the 1983 College World Series. He was drafted 19th overall by the Boston Red Sox, making his major league debut on May 15, 1984. In 1986 his 24 wins helped guide the Sox to the World Series (which they lost) and earned Clemens the American League Most Valuable Player award for the regular season and the first of his seven Cy Young Awards (he also won the AL award in 1987, 1991, 1997, 1998 and 2001 and the National League award in 2004). Hall of Fame slugger Hank Aaron angered the hurler by saying that pitchers should not be eligible for the MVP. "I wish he were still playing," Clemens responded. "I'd probably crack his head open to show him how valuable I was." Clemens remains the only starting pitcher since 1968 to win a league MVP award.

Clemens is one of only two pitchers to have thrown 20 strikeouts in a 9-inning major league game (Kerry Wood is the other). Remarkably, Clemens accomplished the feat twice; on April 29, 1986 against the Seattle Mariners, and on September 18, 1996 against the Detroit Tigers, more than 10 years later.

Clemens signed with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1997. In his 2 seasons there, he won the Cy Young. Then, to the disgust of many Boston fans, Clemens was traded to the New York Yankees before the 1999 season for David Wells, Homer Bush, and Graeme Lloyd. In 2001, he became the first pitcher in history to start a year 20–1. He finished the season at 20-3, at the age 39. In 1999 and 2000, he won World Series titles with the Yankees.

Early in 2003, he announced his retirement, effective at the end of that season. On June 13, 2003, pitching against the St. Louis Cardinals in Yankee Stadium, Clemens recorded his 300th career win and 4,000th career strikeout, the first player in history to record both milestones in the same game. The 300th win came on his fourth try; the Yankee bullpen blew his chance of a win in his previous two attempts. He became the 21st pitcher ever to record 300 wins and just the third ever to record 4,000 strikeouts, joining Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Steve Carlton (4,136). His career record upon reaching the milestones was an impressive 300-155; his record at the end of the season was 310-160 with 4,099 strikeouts.

He chose to put off his retirement, signing a one-year deal with his hometown Houston Astros on January 12, 2004, joining close friend and former Yankees teammate Andy Pettitte. On May 5, 2004, Clemens recorded his 4,137th career strikeout to place him second on the all-time list behind Nolan Ryan, and finished the season with 4,317 strikeouts. Clemens had an 18-4 record in 2004, giving him a career record of 328-164. After the season, he won his seventh Cy Young Award, extending his record number of awards. He became the oldest player ever to win this award, at age 42. This also made him the fourth pitcher to win the award in both leagues, after Gaylord Perry, Pedro Martinez, and Randy Johnson.

He has more career wins than any other right-handed pitcher of the live-ball era, with only Steve Carlton (by one win) and Warren Spahn ahead of him in that category.

His storied temper has gotten him into hot water more than once. On October 10, 1990 he was ejected in the 2nd inning of an ALCS game for cursing at home plate umpire Terry Cooney. Clemens was suspended for the first 5 games of the 1991 season and fined $10,000. (Ironically, he was only one of two major leaguers who refused to cross the picket line when the umpires later went on strike). In the 1st inning of Game 2 of the 2000 World Series, Clemens threw a piece of a shattered bat at the New York Mets' Mike Piazza, clearing both benches. Clemens was fined $50,000.

Clemens married Debra Godfrey on November 24, 1984. They have 4 sons: Koby, Kory, Kacy, and Kody ("K" is a baseball scorer's notation for "strikeout"). He attributes his longevity to a grueling fitness regimen.

 

 


 

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