"He's going to be about where the league leaders are every year, and he's been like that for 10 years," Kevin Millar said Monday in hearing the news. "Everybody has a track record. Nobody's going to hit .500 and nobody's going to hit 1.000, that's baseball. If you know the game and cover the game, you know Manny Ramirez is probably [among] the top five players in the big leagues, so we never panic in this clubhouse, and guys go through struggles, and Manny was never struggling. Manny just wasn't putting up the Manny numbers at the time."
Ramirez belted his 44th career home run the next day against the Blue Jays, the most by an opposing Toronto hitter. This is the 12th career Player of the Week Award for Ramirez. Only Frank Thomas of the Chicago White Sox has won more weekly honors (13) since the award began in 1990. Ramirez has raised his average to .269 entering Monday's game against Baltimore and with 20 RBIs, trails Orioles slugger Miguel Tejada by just two for the AL RBI lead.
"You look at guys' at-bats right now, you're at such a minimal number of at-bats," Millar said. "They were talking about Manny scuffling through 20-something at-bats, and then that night [April 16] he hits two home runs and drives in six runs. And then two days later he drives in five and hits another two home runs, and now he's among the league leaders."
Other candidates included Ramirez's teammate, Johnny Damon (.419, five runs); Kevin Mench (.476, .952 slugging percentage) of Texas; Minnesota's Jacque Jones (.500, .619 on-base percentage); Chicago's Joe Crede (.423, 20 total bases); Cleveland's Ronnie Belliard (.375, three homers); Vladimir Guerrero (.407, two homers) of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; and Alex Rodriguez (.357, nine RBIs) and Jorge Posada (.400, eight RBIs) of the New York Yankees.
Pitchers on the ballot included Cliff Lee (2-0, 0.00 ERA, 14 IP) of the Indians; Baltimore's Sidney Ponson (2-0, 3.00 ERA, 11 strikeouts); and Seattle's Jamie Moyer (2-0, 2.57 ERA, 14 IP).
For his accomplishment, Ramirez will receive an engraved luxury Swiss timepiece from Tourneau, the world's largest watch store.
Bank of America, the official bank of Major League Baseball, is the presenting sponsor of the American League and National League Player of the Week Awards, which reflect the bank's long-standing tradition of promoting and recognizing higher standards of accomplishment.