Manny Ramirez was honored as a member of the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame prior to Monday's game at Fenway Park vs. the Detroit Tigers. After throwing out the ceremonial first pitch, Ramirez joined the Red Sox television broadcast on NESN to chat.
It was then that Ramirez stated that New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter would've been "just a regular player" if he played for the Kansas City Royals instead of the Yankees. However, that comment was seemingly more of a shot at smaller market teams than Jeter's playing abilities.
"You gotta understand this. If you haven't played in Boston or New York, you're not in the big leagues," Ramirez said during the broadcast. "It's like if you put Jeter in Kansas City in those years, he was just a regular player."
Ramirez was having a conversation with former Red Sox players Dennis Eckersley and Kevin Millar about playing in a big market such as Boston or New York. The former Boston outfielder said that average fans aren't as interested in a big-time player if he's playing outside of a major market.
"You put him (Jeter) on that big stage, you hit .400 in the postseason for many, many years, he's the greatest in the history," Millar said, to which Ramirez agreed by saying: "He's the greatest."
Eckersley added that Boston was a "tough place to play," a sentiment with which Ramirez agreed.
"It makes you better," Ramirez said about playing in a big market such as Boston. "Because you've got to be ready. Because they will let you know. They will let you know when you're not right. To be honest with you, when I was with Cleveland, I was playing and I was a good player. But when I came to Boston. I got better because the fans, they will let you know that you wasn't playing right. They push you."
Obviously, Jeter probably doesn't win five World Series if he would've been a member of the Royals like Ramirez suggested, but he was still a 14-time All-Star and earned five Gold Glove Awards. This is a player who has the sixth-most hits in MLB history. Jeter likely would've been more than a "regular player" regardless of which team he was on.