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David Ortiz on Salk & Holley: ‘Manny Ramirez is a totally different person’ than he was in Boston

07.10.13 at 6:55 pm ET

Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz joined Salk & Holley for a pregame interview on Wednesday afternoon covering a number of topics, most notably former Red Sox outfielder and close friend Manny Ramirez.

Ramirez, who spent time playing in Taiwan this season, was recently signed to a minor league contract by the Rangers. Ramirez has played three games for Triple-A Round Rock and is hitting .300 with one home run.

Ramirez and Ortiz became close after the two sluggers formed one of the most lethal 3-4 combinations in recent history. Ortiz said that he and Ramirez are still close and keep in regular contact.

“I don’t follow him really, but we talk once in a while. When he was in Taiwan we talked once or twice a week,” said Ortiz.

Ortiz went on to add that Ramirez has changed many aspects of his life, including becoming more involved in religion, and is a very different man that he was in Boston.

“He’s a totally different person,” said Ortiz. “I’m really happy for him and happy for his family and the way he is doing things now.”

Ortiz did not divulge details of Ramirez’s changes, but he stated with confidence that Ramirez will have another chance in the big leagues.

“I always believed that Manny Ramirez is a guy who is going to hit no matter what,” said Ortiz. “I think he can get the chance from the Rangers to come to the big leagues, and help them win.”

— Ortiz, who comes into Wednesday’s game hitting .327 with 18 home runs and 62 RBIs, also talked about his status mentally and physically this season, elements that he believes have been at the heart of his success this year.

“I feel good. The doctors I was dealing with this offseason, they kept me confident about coming back and being the way I am now. That was huge,” said Ortiz.

The slugger noted that even during a setback in spring training, team doctors kept him confident and put him in a position to succeed this season. As far as his happiness, Ortiz replied with a laugh, “When it comes down to being happy, I’m always happy.”

— It appears the Red Sox team as a whole is happier this season. With additions such as Mike Napoli and Jonny Gomes among others, the Sox completely changed the attitude in the clubhouse prior for the 2013 campaign. Ortiz pointed to team chemistry as a main reason for the team’s success.

“I noticed a difference since spring training — the way I saw John [Farrell] going around talking to players and making you feel comfortable and building up confidence,” said Ortiz. “When you have a manager building up confidence for you, you’re going to want to play for that guy every day.

“I’m a huge believer that what John did since day one is something special,” Ortiz added. “That’s the reason we’re playing so well now.”

Read More: David Ortiz, John Farrell, Manny Ramirez,
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