It's just a number. I've heard that a bit over the past couple of days. And those severely misguided individuals have a point: other than being a "nice round number", what does 500 mean that 499 didn't? That 501 didn't? That 237 didn't? And it's true.
The HR itself was semi-notable, if not historically notable. Chad Bradford is not an easy pitcher to hit a HR off of, in fact, a RH submariner should've been one of the toughest for Manny to hit one against.
But what is 500? It's a reason. It's a reason to celebrate all things Manny. Since he's come to Boston, he's done nothing but hit. There are many large FA contracts handed out in the modern era of baseball, and you'd have to say that of those players, Manny is one of few who has really met expectations.
Did I say he's done nothing but hit? He's also been at the center of a number of amusing situations, at least when one looks at them with the proper perspective. He's demanded and rescinded demands for trades. He's put property on sale on ebay. He's been late to spring training for...interesting reasons more than once. He's cutoff throws in which he was certainly not the relay man. He's robbed MFY utility IFs of HRs. He's high-fived fans in the middle of amazing plays. He's disappeared into the Monster during play.
Through it all, he's continued to hit. And moreso, he's been an absolute delight for those able to let the aforementioned incidents (and others) be seen for their entertainment value.
And, of course, Manny has had the right perspective of the milestone. He wants 600, heck, he specifically mentioned hitting 501 in the midst of questions about the 500 mark. Manny loves to hit, and loves to see himself being successful at doing so, maybe moreso than any of his fans.
What else is 500? It's a reminder that when he's done, we're going to miss him. ...a lot.