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Manny Ramirez Says Yankees HOF’er Derek Jeter Would Be ‘Regular Guy’ with Royals

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AP Photo/Steven Senne

Manny Ramirez believes Derek Jeter’s legacy greatly benefited from him spending his entire MLB career with the New York Yankees.

Ramirez briefly appeared on Monday’s broadcast of the Red Sox’s 5-2 win over the Detroit Tigers on NESN. The legendary outfielder argued that playing in certain markets can accentuate a player’s achievements and used Jeter as an example.

“You gotta understand this. If you haven’t played in Boston or New York, you’re not in the big leagues,” Ramirez said (via Chris Bengel of CBSSports.com). “It’s like if you put Jeter in Kansas City in those years, he was just a regular player.”

Rather than slighting Jeter as a player, the retired Red Sox star made the point that the scrutiny and expectations that come with playing on the Yankees can bring the best out in a player.

Ramirez went on to discuss his own career, explaining how he was already playing at a high level during his eight years with the Cleveland Guardians. Signing with the Red Sox helped him hit a new level.

“To be honest with you, when I was with Cleveland, I was playing and I was a good player,” he said. “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.”

Jeter’s numbers and individual accolades hold up on their own. He’s a 14-time All-Star, a five-time Silver Slugger winner and a career .310 hitter with the sixth-most hits (3,465) in MLB history.

Though it’s hard to say whether Ramirez’s argument that Jeter may not have achieved as much in a smaller market, it’s fair to assume the 47-year-old wouldn’t have been viewed quite in the same light if he hadn’t worn Yankees pinstripes for two decades.

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