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Red Sox give Manny warm welcome

Red Sox give Manny warm welcome

BOSTON -- For more than five years as teammates, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz could always be seen together, laughing, chatting and just having a good time.

For Ortiz and Ramirez, Friday was no different.

As the two caught up before batting practice, the smiles and laughs were free-flowing.

  • 134 wins
  • 118 wins

"It's my boy out there," Ortiz said.

Friday marked Ramirez's first time back at Fenway since he was traded to the Dodgers midway through the 2008 season after a 7 1/2-year career with the Sox.

For Ortiz, seeing Ramirez playing for the opposing team was strange.

"It was a crazy feeling to watch him up there at the plate, and seeing Manny in that other dugout was unusual," he said.

It was even more surreal for the designated hitter when, in his first at-bat in the bottom of the first inning, he rocked a two-run homer to straightaway center.

The home run, his 274th as a member of the Red Sox, tied him with Ramirez for fifth on the club's all-time list.

"He did so many great things for this organization when he played here," Ortiz said. "All he did was put up numbers."

Even Dodgers manager Joe Torre understands the emotion involved for the fans and for Ramirez.

"This is a huge part of his career," Torre said. "You are never blase about coming to Boston and playing in front of these fans. ... I think he understands.

"He didn't seem edgy at all. He was a teammate, doing all the things he normally would do."

Though catcher Jason Varitek didn't speak with Ramirez during his five at-bats, he was well aware of the fans' reactions.

"I thought you heard more cheers than anything, and rightfully so," Varitek said, "[because of what] he's accomplished here and being a part of winning two championships."

Quinn Roberts is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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