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Blast from the past: Ramiro Mendoza aiming to pitch for Panama

Oct 21, 2012, 7:34 PM EDT

Ramiro Mendoza AP

Former Yankees and Red Sox reliever Ramiro Mendoza has started training in the hopes of making Panama’s World Baseball Classic team for qualifying next month, MLB.com reports.

“It is a wonderful experience,” said Mendoza. “I [am coming] to do my part to help the boys, but I know they have a lot to offer for Panama.”

The 40-year-old Mendoza last pitched in the U.S. with the Yankees’ Triple-A club in 2006. He had his best season in the majors in 1998, going 10-2 with a 3.25 ERA in 14 starts and 27 relief appearances for the Yankees. He pitched for Panama in the first two WBCs in 2006 and ’09.

Panama will compete with Colombia, Brazil and Nicaragua for one spot in the main WBC tournament that takes place next March. It will have to do so without the greatest talent the country has ever produced, Mariano Rivera. Carlos Ruiz, Carlos Lee and Bruce Chen are among the handful of current major leaguers from Panama.

  1. mybrunoblog - Oct 21, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    I was in an elevator in New York two years ago when I saw a guy with two friends. I thought he looked familiar so I said “do people tell you you look like Ramiro Mendoza? He answered “I am Ramiro Mendoza”. We all laughed and he told me he was done playing baseball. He even looked like he put on some weight. I guess some guys just can’t get the game out of their system.

    • tfbuckfutter - Oct 21, 2012 at 8:06 PM

      When I was a kid my family’s flight got diverted to Detroit because of weather and we were riding the shuttle to the hotel and this woman said to this guy “Excuse me, but you look just like Donny Osmond” and he said “I am Donny Osmond.” Then all the mothers on the shuttle lost their shit.

      …..What? I thought we were just sharing random anecdotes.

      • dondada10 - Oct 21, 2012 at 8:41 PM

        The best part of your post is that in the last sentence you seem to anticipate how unpopular it’s going to be.

      • tfbuckfutter - Oct 21, 2012 at 9:36 PM

        Relatively speaking….since it’s an article about Ramiro Mendoza.

        Frankly, sitting at 5:9 I’m pretty surprised 14 people have even read the story.

      • deathmonkey41 - Oct 22, 2012 at 9:53 AM

        That story would have been so much better had he said, “No, I’m kidding- I’m not Donnie Osmond- I’m Satan and your soul is mine.”

  2. deathmonkey41 - Oct 22, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    He used to have one of the best sinkers in the business.

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