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Manny Ramirez Reportedly Rejected by Japanese Team

What’s Manny Ramirez been up to lately? Apparently trying to resurrect his baseball career in a country where everyone goes for redemption — Japan.

From a Jayson Stark report:

A source with ties to Japanese baseball tells Rumblings that Manny had a Florida tryout for a Japanese team (the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks) a couple of weeks ago, but “it didn’t go well.” And what was the hang-up? “The Japanese don’t like ‘baggage’ in a player,” the source said, “no matter how talented he might be.”

If Japanese teams don’t like baggage, why would a team bother giving him a tryout? Was it a favor to him or his agent? That’s the only part that doesn’t make sense. But if Manny tried out for a Japanese team and got the Dikembe Mutombo treatment, it would be too perfect. That would mean Manny’s now been rejected in the U.S., Dominican Republic, and Japan. Maybe he can try out for the Israeli league, Venezuelan league, and Australian league so he can get rejected on every continent.

Who says being a lifelong jerk doesn’t eventually catch up to someone?

Forearm bash to Hardball Talk

Manny Ramirez Headed to Play Winter Ball

Where does a man shunned by MLB turn these days? Where can one go to continue his baseball playing career? What is the last resort before hitting rock-Canseco-bottom? To the land where steroids and HGH flow freely, my friends — the Dominican Winter League!

We told you back in April when Manny Ramirez announced his abrupt retirement from MLB that he was planning to play winter ball. Apparently that’s still the case.

Hardball Talk passes along reports saying Manny is set to report to his winter ball team Aguilas Cibaenas on Monday. If I were them, I wouldn’t expect everything to go as planned. Manny certainly strikes me as the Allen Iverson-type who is likely to miss his flight and show up a few days late. As long as he can still hit — and if he’s on the juice I’m sure he can — they will likely overlook a delay.

Let’s just hope he has all his fertility issues worked out — wouldn’t want him going into labor during the season.

Manny Ramirez May Play Winter Ball

You didn’t really think Manny Ramirez would just retire after his PED suspension and walk away from baseball in such ignominious fashion did you? You really thought he would just quietly walk away towards the depths of the afterlife without pulling off some “Manny Being Manny” trick? Shame on you.

If you happen to venture to the Dominican Republic on vacation in the winter and check out a ballgame, and you notice a player who looks like Manny Ramirez … it may be because that player is Manny Ramirez.

Enrique Rojas at ESPN Deportes has been communicating with Manny since his abrupt retirement from the game. He says Manny has consistently hinted that he may play winter ball in the Dominican Republic.

“Now I’m getting ready to defend the 21st crown of the Aguilas,” Ramirez told ESPNdeportes.com in a reference to the Aguilas Cibaenas — a Winter League team.

Who knows if Manny is still screwing around, but I have a tough time believing he’s at peace with everything. I have no doubt Manny wanted to play this year and I believe he wants to continue playing baseball, so the Dominican League is the perfect way for him to keep playing without dealing with his shameful suspension. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him do something like that to continue his playing career.

Maybe Manny will become like Jose Canseco and give us endless entertainment for years to come. I have no idea if that will happen, but I have a hard time believing Manny is completely done with baseball.

Manny Ramirez Cements Legacy as Cheater and Quitter

There are several different ways to describe Manny Ramirez during his fun, entertaining, aggravating, and tumultuous 19-year Major League Baseball career. After the way he exited the game for good on Friday, there are only two ways to characterize his legacy: Manny Ramirez was a cheater and a quitter.

Ramirez of course was informed by MLB of his second drug-related offense in spring training, and rather than sit out 100 games which is the penalty for a two-time offender, Manny decided to retire. The Tampa Bay Rays had invested in him, given him a spot in the lineup and clubhouse, and built a few marketing campaigns around him. All that had to be scrapped after Manny unceremoniously dumped the team, and now they are left with a hole in the lineup.

It doesn’t matter that Manny was struggling to start the season — with plenty of reason as we now know. The man who faked injuries several times and faked a knee injury to force his way out of Boston did what he has done throughout his career — put himself first over the team (a charge for which he later admitted). The consummate “I guy,” Manny decided to take the year off and run away from baseball after his second positive test instead of apologizing, going clean, and trying to help the Rays like the “leader” they made him out to be. Nope, Manny is walking away from the game, likely to be heard from sparingly throughout the rest of his life.

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Manny Ramirez Retires from MLB After Second Drug-Related Suspension

Manny Ramirez has shockingly announced his retirement from Major League Baseball. The news came in a press release from MLB, and it comes after Ramirez started off the season 1-for-17 with the Rays. I’m sure getting booed by Rays fans to start the year didn’t help his confidence, but Manny’s retirement is almost certainly related to a second drug-related offense.

Manny missed 50 games with the Dodgers for testing positive for a fertility drug in 2009, and a second suspension would have cost him 100 games, which would take care of most of the season.

LA Times writer Bill Shaikin wrote on twitter that “Manny tested positive for banned substance, would have been facing 100-game suspension had he not retired (or succeeded in appeal).”

The Rays said in a statement “We are obviously surprised and disappointed by this news. We will have no further comment on this matter.”

The news of his second drug-related offense likely will permanently harm his reputation. Many people were forgiving after his first offense, but a second offense shows a blatant disregard for the rules and integrity of the game, and it further proves he felt he could not play well without performance enhancers. If he tested positive a second time, one has to wonder how long he was using to begin with before finally being caught.

Rays Manager Joe Maddon: It’s Unfair to Boo Manny Ramirez

Tampa Bay Rays new DH Manny Ramirez has been hearing it from fans after starting the season 1-for-16. The offseason acquisition was booed Tuesday during Tampa’s 5-3 loss to the Angels and didn’t help matters by striking out three times and leaving three men on. After the loss, manager Joe Maddon defended Manny saying it was “very unfair” of fans to boo him over his poor start, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.

Topkin says Maddon wanted to make it clear that Ramirez works really hard and that it’s too early to get down on him. Outfielder B.J. Upton, who’s no stranger to slumps, said it was “unbelievable” that Ramirez was hearing it.

I completely understand why Maddon defended his player, and I agree it’s too early to get down on a proven slugger like Manny after just four games. But here’s where I’ll disagree.

If fans are booing Manny because they don’t like how he acts or the way he cheated the game, that’s completely within reason, and I might do the same. But if they’re booing because he’s not performing and they’ll start to cheer when he does, then I think it’s far too capricious on their behalf and will side with Joe and B.J. It all depends on the fan motivation for the boos.

Scott Boras Billing Manny Ramirez as Potential Mentor for Young Players

Scott Boras is an agent and his job is to make his clients seem as appealing as possible to potential employers. I understand that. But some of the stuff that comes out of his mouth is just unbelievable. Going back a few years ago, what he said about Jason Varitek’s contract was laughable. Now, the way he’s billing free agent Manny Ramirez belongs in the same category. During an interview on MLB Network on Sirius XM Radio, Boras described some of the selling points of a veteran like Manny via Ben Maller:

I think the things that benefit Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez and players of that type is that they’ve been championship players, they played in big markets. They can go to young players whose careers are just beginning, who have a lot of expectancy associated with them, they’ve had success and now for the first time they’re being asked to repeat that success. That often doesn’t happen because there haven’t been mentors around those young players to give them a pathway where they are not out there trying to do too much to try to replicate the quality year that they’ve had. I’ve always felt those types of players are very helpful.

He’s exactly right — those types of players are extremely helpful and make a difference in the clubhouse. Johnny Damon does have that presence. Manny Ramirez does not. Are you kidding me? How can he actually place Manny Ramirez in the “mentor role” category? What’s next Scott, pitching Bengie Molina as a speed coach? You going to turn Tim Lincecum into a D.A.R.E. officer? Suggest Tommy Lasorda shills for a weight-loss company? Oh weight, forgot about that. Gimme a break Boras, go sell that stuff on another block because we’re not buying the spiel here.