Manny Ramirez is making another comeback.
The Boston Red Sox legend has signed a one-year deal with the Sydney Blue Sox of the Australian Baseball League, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported Friday.
Breaking: Manny Ramirez, 48, signs 1-year deal with the Sydney Blue Sox of the Australian Baseball League. Diamondstar international Baseball Agency with agent Hector Zepeda did the deal.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 29, 2020
Earlier this year, Ramirez was eyeing an opportunity to play for Taiwan in the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL).
“My goal for 2020, is to find a roster spot in the CPBL,” Ramirez said in April. “I have been itching to get back in the batter’s box and be able to compete again. I also miss being around teammates and team dinners post-game. I know if I was given the opportunity to come in an organization as a player-coach, it would do great things for the organization and the league.”
The COVID-19 pandemic prevented Ramirez from pursuing that option, but his determination to continue playing has led him to a new venture in a new league.
According to Hector Zepeda, Ramirez’s agent, the 48-year-old slugger is up to the challenge.
“He can still swing the bat. He’s still got it,” agent Hector Zepeda said of Manny Ramirez, who just signed a 1-year deal to be player-coach with the Sydney Blue Sox. The deal also has a club option. Manny Ramirez Jr. Also res his dad.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 29, 2020
Manny Ramirez’s many comebacks
This isn’t the first time Ramirez has attempted a comeback. Nor is it the second, or third time.
After making his last MLB appearance in 2011, Ramirez briefly joined the CPBL before signing a minor-league contract with the Texas Rangers in 2013. When that didn’t pan out, Ramirez once again walked away. One year later, he resurfaced as a player-coach for the Chicago Cubs Triple-A team in Iowa.
After another hiatus, Ramirez joined the Fight Dogs of Japan’s independent Shikou Island League during the 2017 season. That marks the last time we’ve seen him in a competitive baseball setting.
Hall of Fame credentials
Like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and other players who have either been linked to PEDs or suspended for using PEDs, Ramirez has not been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Overall, his body of work is certainly worthy.
Ramirez’s 555 home runs rank 15th on the all-time list, while his 1,831 RBIs rank 19th. He produced year after year, and did so as the core piece of several very good lineups. While some might question if he was truly clean during his peak seasons, the production is remarkable and impossible to ignore.
Perhaps he’s still searching for some degree of validation or redemption. Or maybe he just loves the game that much. Whatever the case, Manny Ramirez isn’t ready to quit on baseball.
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