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Manny Ramirez finally apologizes to Jack McCormick, says he ‘behaved bad’

Manny-Ramirez-hairManny Ramirez made a triumphant return to Fenway Park on Wednesday night as part of a 10-year anniversary celebration of the Boston Red Sox’s 2004 World Series-winning team. While he was in town, the 41-year-old issued an overdue apology to Red Sox traveling secretary Jack McCormick.

Just before Ramirez wore out his welcome in Boston and was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008, he had a physical altercation with McCormick, who was 64 at the time. As Terry Francona highlighted in his book, Manny had put in a late request for 16 tickets to a game and was told the request could not be fulfilled on such short notice. He flipped out and shoved McCormick to the ground.

“I went and spoke to Jack,” Ramirez told reporters on Wednesday, via ESPNBoston.com’s Gordon Edes. “I apologized to Jack. I told him, ‘Jack, I want you to forgive me because it was my fault. I behaved bad here with everybody. I want you to forgive me.’”

Manny said McCormick accepted his apology, telling him “thank you” and that he had been waiting for it.

Ramirez, who was recently hired by the Chicago Cubs as a player-coach in the minor leagues, used a lot of religious speak while chatting with reporters. He said he began going to Bible study classes after he was arrested in 2011 for allegedly striking his wife Juanita.

“When I went to jail with that problem with my wife, they didn’t let me see my kids for two or three months, and one day I woke up and looked at myself in the mirror and I said I needed a change,” he explained. “I started going to Bible studies, I saw it was good. God helped me to change my life. … Now I realize I behaved bad in Boston.”

Manny certainly isn’t going to win a Nobel Peace Prize, but he still received a hero’s welcome on Wednesday. When you have a World Series MVP trophy and helped a team end an 86-year championship drought, all else is bound to be forgotten.

Photo: Twitter/JohnTelich8

Manny Ramirez shows off new haircut in Fenway Park return

Manny Ramirez hair

Manny Ramirez sure is making the rounds in MLB this week. Not only was it announced over the weekend that he’ll be taking a player-coach role within the Chicago Cubs organization, but he returned to Fenway Park on Wednesday for a 10-year anniversary celebration of the Boston Red Sox’s 2004 World Series-winning team. And Manny showed off quite the new hairdo while he was in town.

Manny Ramirez haircut

I don’t know what you call that hairstyle, but I’m calling it the skunk.

Lovely style, Manny. But I still prefer you as a conehead.

Photos: Twitter/JohnTelich8, Twitter/LindseyBaseball

Manny Ramirez to join Iowa Cubs as player-coach

Manny Ramirez

Strangely enough, the headline for this story is not from The Onion and actually real life.

Manny Ramirez — yes, that Manny Ramirez — is back in baseball in the role of a player-coach in the Cubs organization. That means that Theo Epstein decided to bring Manny in despite all the crap Manny put the Sox through in Boston. That in and of itself is shocking. That Manny might actually be influencing young ballplayers is probably more shocking.

What’s Manny going to teach these youngsters?

Proper technique on faking an injury? How to talk your way out of playing both games of a double-header? Best ways to kill time while bored in the outfield?

I kid, I kid.

From the sounds of things, it seems like Manny will actually be with the team more for coaching than playing purposes.

“While Manny is not and will not be a fit on the Cubs’ Major League roster, we do think at this stage of his life he’s a nice fit as a mentor for some of the young, talented hitters we have in the organization,” Epstein said in a statement via MLB.com.

“Manny will coach full-time and play part-time in a limited role that does not take at-bats away from our prospects. If he shows there is still some magic in his bat, perhaps he will find his way back to the Major Leagues and help another team, but that is not why he is here.

“We are thrilled that he wants to work with our young hitters and make a difference.”

Manny hasn’t played in the majors since 2011 with the Rays, so it’s unlikely he would ever come close to that again. And as much as I poke fun at the situation, Ramirez has actually been one of the more intelligent hitters in the game and probably has a lot of great things to share with young players if he chooses to embrace his new role. It sounds like he is desperate enough to do so.

“I know I am nearing the end of my playing days, but I have a lot of knowledge to pass on to the next generation, both what to do and what not to do. While I would love to return to the Major Leagues, I leave that in God’s hands. My focus will be working with the young hitters, making sure they don’t make the same mistakes I made and helping the team any way I can,” Ramirez said in a statement.

Good for him. Hopefully it will all work out.

Scout predicted Manny Ramirez would hit 500 home runs in MLB career

Manny-Ramirez-Regrets-Way-Red-Sox-Career-EndedScouting baseball players has to be one of the most difficult jobs in sports. Of all the players who end up playing professionally in the minor leagues after high school and college, how many actually go on to become successful MLB players? Of that group, how many become stars?

The answer to both questions is a minuscule fraction. However, every now and then a scout comes along and submits a report on a player that turns out to be almost as perfect as you can get. As Busted Coverage pointed out, Chicago White Sox scout Brian Collins was one of those people in 1991 when reporting on Manny Ramirez.

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Texas Rangers sign Manny Ramirez to minor league deal

Manny RamirezCould Manny Ramirez end up back in the bigs?

The Texas Rangers announced on Wednesday that they have signed the former MVP to a minor league deal. Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News first reported news of the signing and says Ramirez will report to the club’s Triple-A Round Rock affiliate.

Manny will work out with the Round Rock Express for a few days before being activated. He reportedly will cut his hair to comply with the club’s minor league rules.

Ramirez recently played in Taiwan but left before the second half of the season. He hit .352 with eight home runs and 43 RBIs in 49 games with the EDA Rhinos, but left because he wanted another shot at the majors. It looks like the Rangers are giving him that shot.

Ramirez’s last two stints with MLB teams did not go well. He was signed by the Tampa Bay Rays for the 2011 season and walked away from the club after being busted for elevated levels of testosterone. He was 1-for-17 at the time he left the team, choosing to retire instead of serve a 100-game suspension. The Oakland A’s signed him for the 2012 season and he served a 50-game suspension while playing in the minors. He was released mid-season after failing to impress in the minors.

Manny Ramirez’s feeble attempt to break up a double play was pretty comical (Video)

Manny Ramirez slideAhh, it’s good to see that Manny is still being Manny even in Taiwan.

During a recent game with his EDA Rhinos of the Chinese Professional Baseball League, Manny gave a lesson in “How Not to Break Up a Double Play.”

Manny was on first with no out in the sixth when a teammate grounded a ball to the first baseman. Ramirez went in for his slide a good 15 feet before the bag and was tagged out with minimal effort. He proceeded to trot off the field like it was no big deal. I don’t speak whatever language the announcers were speaking, but they seemed to be loving it.

Not that Manny’s actions on the field really need any explaining, but I think I understand what was going on here. Oftentimes a player will just get down when they know they’re going to be out by a mile at second in order to avoid getting hit in the face on the throw from the guy attempting to turn two. The only problem is that strategy doesn’t work too well when the throw to second is way offline.

H/T Busted Coverage

Fans in Taiwan welcome Manny Ramirez with a Johnny Cueto sign (Picture)

Manny-Ramirez-Johnny-Cueto-Taiwan

Manny Ramirez is a brand new face in Taiwan, and the fans are still trying to figure him out. The former MLB slugger made his debut with the EDA Rhinos on Wednesday, going 2-for-6 from the plate with two singles. As you can see from the photo above, fans were thrilled to finally see Manny in game action. However, they have a little work to do when it comes to making signs.

The gentleman in that sign is not Manny Ramirez. Very similar hairstyle, but unfortunately not Manny. As Eye on Baseball pointed out, that would be Cincinnati Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto. Aside from their dread locks, the two have very little in common. Ramirez was once one of the best hitters in the AL and Cueto is one of the best pitchers in the NL.

Honest mistake, as this is all going to take some getting used to. Manny has gotten around over the past couple of years (see his Dominican League homer here), so you can’t expect the fans in every country he has played in to be instantly familiar with him. Whatever the case, the fans seem to love him. What more can you ask for?