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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?

Manny Ramirez receiving interest from Taiwan, Mexico, waiting on MLB offer

Manny RamirezManny Ramirez will turn 41 in May and hasn’t played in the bigs since early 2011, but that’s not stopping him from believing he can continue to be a Major League hitter.

Ramirez is coming off a sting playing winter ball for Águilas Cibaeñas of the Dominican Republic league. He had a .795 OPS in 99 at-bats for the club during the regular season, knocking four home runs and two doubles (including a homer in his first at-bat with the team). Now that the league’s season is over, Ramirez is looking for a spot in the spring.

FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi reported Tuesday that Ramirez received interest from the EDA Rhinos of the Taiwanese league. Ramirez confirmed to ESPN Deportes that he received interest from Taiwan, and he also said a team in the Mexican league is interested in him.

Though Manny will consider the offers, he told ESPN Deportes that he is still hoping for an offer from an MLB team.

“You can never rule out options, but right now I’m not interested in playing outside the United States in the summer,” Ramirez said Tuesday (via a translation). “I am not losing hope of receiving a call from a major league team at any time.

“I appreciate the interest and might consider the possibility of playing outside the United States, but that would be after I have exhausted all hopes of returning to the big leagues.”

Ramirez has been suspended twice under MLB’s drug policy and would face a lifetime ban if he tested positive a third time. The last time he tested positive was in April 201. Rather than face a 100-game suspension, he retired and walked out on the Tampa Bay Rays. The Oakland A’s signed Ramirez to a minor-league deal last year, but they released him in June after he failed to impress in 17 games with their Triple-A club.

Terry Francona sheds some light onto just how insane Manny Ramirez was

Terry-Francona-Manny-RamirezWhile Terry Francona likely could not have won a World Series with the Boston Red Sox without a slugger like Manny Ramirez, it is a known fact that the former All-Star is the most difficult player he had to deal with during his eight years in Boston. Ramirez wore out his welcome with the Red Sox in 2008 when he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. In his new book, “Francona: The Red Sox Years,” Francona tells a few interesting stories from the “Manny being Manny” era.

In 2008, Ramirez threw a hissy fit and shoved 64-year-old team traveling secretary Jack McCormick to the ground when he was told a late request for 16 tickets to a game against the Houston Astros would not be fulfilled. The now-infamous incident quickly made the rounds through the media after it happened, but Francona gives readers an inside perspective on what went down.

“It took me a few seconds to realize this wasn’t in fun,” Francona said, via Chad Finn of the Boston Globe. “There were not a lot of guys around when I got out there, and I saw Jack leaning against a table, kind of dazed. I grabbed Manny and said, ‘What the [expletive] are you doing?’ I was hoping he wasn’t going to hit me.”

That’s Manny at his worst. Obviously the guy had some issues with his temper. As we know, he also had issues with his effort at various times throughout his tenure in Boston. Like that time in 2006 when he removed himself from a game against the Yankees in the fourth inning.

“I’ll never forget that,’’ Francona said. “He came off the field, walked down the dugout steps, yelled over, and said, ‘Hamstring!’ and I said, ‘Manny, which one?, and he pointed with both hands to both hamstrings. He was like, ‘You pick. [Expletive], I’m coming out. It was funny later, but it wasn’t funny at the time. I had had it with Manny at that point.”

Shoving old guys and faking injuries? Sounds a lot like Manny to me. Francona’s book has already produced some interesting stories about what his life was like in Boston, and there’s likely more to come.

Fist pound to Hardball Talk

Manny Ramirez homers on first pitch he sees in Dominican League (Video)

Manny Ramirez still has some pop. In his first at-bat with the Las Aguilas Eagles of the Dominican League on Wednesday night, the 40-year-old blasted a home run over the right field wall in front of an estimated 22,000 fans.

According to ESPN Deportes, there were 20,000 tickets available to the game before it was announced that Ramirez would suit up. The announcement led to a sell-out, and obviously Manny gave the fans what they were looking for on the first pitch he saw.

“I’m not thinking about the big leagues now,” Ramirez said when he joined the Eagles and was asked if his MLB career is over. “Right now I’m thinking of helping the Eagles to win games and then, if any offer, then I’ll think of baseball.”

Prior to Wednesday, Ramirez hadn’t played in the Dominican League since the 1994-1995 season. He homered only twice with the Eagles from 1991-1995, so he’s well on his way to surpassing that mark this year. He may be considered a cheater and a quitter by many fans of Major League Baseball, but Manny is clearly still an icon in his native country.

H/T Deadspin