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Bizarre report: Manny Ramirez might play winter ball

Apr 29, 2011, 5:23 PM EDT

Manny Ramirez

ESPNDeportes.com’s Enrique Rojas has a report up presenting text messages from Manny Ramirez saying he’s interested in playing winter ball in his native Dominican Republic for the Aguilas Cibaenes.

The odd thing is that text messages were actually written more than two weeks ago, and Rojas gives no indication of whom they happened to be addressed to.

According to Rojas, Ramirez wrote the following text messages on April 11 and 12 respectively:

“Now I have an Aguilas hat.”
“Tell the fans to not despair because winter ball is coming soon.”

Rojas, though, did manage to get a direct quote from Ramirez on Thursday, saying “Now I’m getting ready to defend the 21st crown of the Aguilas.”

If Ramirez opted to return to MLB following his winter ball stint, he’d still presumably have to serve a 100-game drug suspension. Realistically, he’d only have the slightest chance of drawing minimal interest next spring if he got some team to do him a favor and sign him now, allowing him to serve the suspension over the rest of this season.

  1. Matthew Pouliot - Apr 29, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    And, no, I don’t see why any team would want to do Manny that kind of favor. But there might be some incentive for teams to do Scott Boras such a favor.

  2. aceshigh11 - Apr 29, 2011 at 5:32 PM

    It’s just Manny bein’ a Chipwich(TM).

  3. Jeremiah Graves - Apr 29, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    Do we know if Manny ever “officially” filed for retirement or did he just walk off and say he was finished?!

    If he hasn’t officially done all of the paperwork and whatnot, I’d assume that he’s still “technically” under contract and is currently serving the suspension?!

    • Matthew Pouliot - Apr 29, 2011 at 5:38 PM

      He retired in order to avoid the suspension, which was never officially announced.

  4. micker716 - Apr 29, 2011 at 11:10 PM

    There’s no way Manny makes it through the stringent, state-of-the-art testing implemented in the DR. If caught cheating, and questioned by Dominican authorities, will he revert back to the English language and feign ignorance during questioning?

  5. dan1111 - Apr 30, 2011 at 4:08 AM

    I don’t find this report bizarre. It is only bizarre if you assume this is preparation for a return to the majors. Maybe playing winter ball is something Manny wants to do for its own sake. Why wouldn’t he want to end his career with a triumphant return to his homeland, where he is probably still viewed as a hero, rather than a retirement in disgrace?

  6. purnellmeagrejr - Apr 30, 2011 at 11:24 AM

    Maybe the guy just likes to play baseball.

  7. pisano - Apr 30, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    Manny is better off playing with himself, that’s the ultimate Manny being Manny.

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