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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

Manny Ramirez thought A’s pitcher Brett Anderson was the video coordinator

Manny Ramirez became one of the newest members of the Oakland A’s after signing a minor league contract with them Monday. Being new to the team and all, he’s just getting to know his teammates. He apparently thought one was the team’s video coordinator.

That came from A’s pitcher Brett Anderson who seemed to have had a laugh out of it. I know people will make a joke of this and just say it’s another “Manny being Manny” moment, but it shows me how disrespectful he can be. He’s a guy on a minor league deal. Anderson is on the team. Manny should be acting like a rookie and treating everyone with respect, not acting like the big shot he used to be.

H/T Hot Clicks

Manny Ramirez Targeted by A’s to DH?

Uh oh, guess that heartfelt comeback pitch by Manny Ramirez actually worked. The slugger who abruptly retired from MLB after a second positive test for PEDs is trying to return to the bigs and there reportedly is some interest.

“The Orioles and Blue Jays saw Manny work and Baltimore liked what it saw, but Oakland has been the team that has expressed the most interest, even before having him work out,” ESPN LA reports.

Manny has to sit out 50 games per his suspension, which has been reduced from 100 for no apparent reason. The A’s are notorious for shopping for bargains, so Manny could fit right in. Unfortunately they didn’t learn from the Rays, who thought they were getting a steal in Manny last season but ended up with a guy who quit on the team.

I guess the A’s may be willing to give him another chance to prove what a jerk he is.

H/T Deadspin

Manny Ramirez Wears Swimming Cap in the Pool, Looks like a Horizontal Conehead

Manny Ramirez misses baseball and has begun a process to try and rehab his image. He filmed a little “All-Access” special with notorious Barry Bonds lackey Pedro Gomez.

Manny let’s us in on his private life and tries to show us how human he is. He takes ESPN through his daily routine and tries to show how hard he’s working to get back into baseball. One of the things he’s been doing is working out in a swimming pool.

Just like any person protective of their ‘do would act, Mannny wears his hair in a swimming cap while he’s in the pool. The result is his dome looking like some cross between Coneheads and Princess Leia. He sure fits in well with those elderly ladies, doesn’t he? I bet they sit around trading estrogen injections after the pool sessions.

But let’s think about this for a second. Manny is the same guy who was so protective of his personal life that he wanted out of Boston because of their intrusive fans and media. And now he’s giving the media an inside look at his personal life? He must be really desperate to return to MLB. Maybe he thinks we’ve forgotten that he unceremoniously retired after being popped as a repeat offender of MLB’s drug policy; we haven’t.

Here’s another look at Princess Leia:

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Manny Ramirez Calls Himself a Member of the ‘Working Class’

As you have probably heard by now, Manny Ramirez is planning a comeback.  When it comes to Manny, you can never understand the motive behind anything.  It’s possible he did not want to end his MLB career by avoiding a suspension for failing a second performance-enhancing drug test.  He could also just be bored.  Whatever the case, we can all agree his decision has nothing to do with money — considering Manny is a guy who used to leave non-deposited paychecks in his locker that were worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Ramirez made more than $200 million during his MLB career, but it sounds like he still considers himself a man who is simply in search of a job.  Check out this hilarious quote that was translated from a recent interview between Ramirez and Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes.

“We are the working class and wherever there is work, you must go work.” Ramirez said when asked if he would consider playing in Japan or another country.

Keep in mind that the statement was translated from an interview that was conducted in Spanish, so it’s possible we’re dealing with a lost in translation type scenario.  That being said, we feel your pain, Manny.  It’s tough to find work out there but we all have to pay the bills and put food on the table somehow.

Ramirez also expressed regret over using performance-enhancing substances and said it is a decision he regrets every day of his life.  That’s nice, but referring to himself as a member of the working class is way more entertaining.

Fist pound to Hardball Talk for sharing the quote with us.