Manny Ramirez retired from MLB seven years ago as one of the most feared hitters and animated personalities in the history of the game. The end of his illustrious career was marred with a few failed PED tests, but apparently he can’t shake that baseball bug and is still just “Manny being Manny."
Age hasn’t slowed down the former Boston Red Sox slugger's eccentricity, his passion for the game or his appetite for foreign foods.
Ramirez announced that he has decided to play baseball in Japan this season with the Kochi Island Fighting Dogs. New details about the 44-year-old’s contract with the Fighting Dogs have emerged and given us some insight into what an ex-baseball legend requires to help put seats in the stands and basically resort to being a spectacle for the Japanese.
According to the Boston Globe, Ramirez is living large in Japan. He has access to a Mercedes Benz, complete with a personal driver. He gets unlimited sushi for the season and he’s on the Allen Iverson practice plan, meaning practices are optional for the slugger who hit 555 homers in his 19-year MLB career. He’ll also be living in a hotel suite when the team travels for games.
Ramirez will play outfield for the Fighting Dogs and his new number is 99, His jersey says “Manny” on the back.
It’s obvious that Ramirez hasn’t had the closure and honorable goodbye that a player of his caliber deserves. He never got the retirement tour or the standing ovations and fan farewell. His involvement with PED’s has really tarnished his image and Ramirez’ latest odd baseball adventure is proof that he hasn’t been able to totally move on from trying to recapture his glory years.
One day Manny will get the props he deserves as an all-time MLB great, but for now, he’s Japan’s problem and pleasure.