The New Yorker's Ben McGrath finagled an astounding nine minutes with Manny Ramirez, the notoriously fractious and endlessly fascinating Red Sox slugger. In the interview the reclusive Ramirez embodies all the myths about him: He's deeply personal, funny, petulant, and cryptic—besides being, arguably, "the greatest hitter of his generation."
When asked to describe Ramirez, teammate David Ortiz repeats two words: "crazy motherfucker." Manny's been known to hang out in the left-field wall at Fenway during games and wander into the video-viewing room naked. He can't be counted on to make it to spring training on time. What nobody doubts is his commitment to incredible hitting.