Manny ‘invigorated’ for return to US
Manny Ramirez wants to make another comeback to major league baseball.
Ramirez, 41, batted .352 this season with eight home runs and 43 RBI for the EDA Rhinos of the Chinese Professional Baseball League. The Rhinos — based in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan — released Ramirez after he fulfilled a contractual commitment to play for them through June 15, when the first half of their season ended.
“The reason he decided not to return for the second half was to free himself to be available to play in the United States,” Barry Praver, Ramirez’s agent, told FOXSports.com Wednesday. “This whole thing with Manny in Taiwan was a phenomenon. He invigorated the league. Attendance went through the roof. It was a very positive experience for both sides.
“Manny was so invigorated by his play there that he wants to return to the majors.”
Ramirez last played in the majors with the Tampa Bay Rays on April 6, 2011, right before his second suspension for violating baseball’s performance-enhancing drug policy. He batted .302 with no home runs in 17 games for Oakland’s Triple-A affiliate last season before being released.
Praver and Scott Shapiro represent Ramirez and “are in the process of pursuing opportunities” for Ramirez in the United States, Praver said.
“Manny would be interested in returning to the majors in any role, including that of a pinch hitter,” Praver said.
Ramirez ranks 14th on the all-time home run list with 555, but he’s unlikely to earn election to the Baseball Hall of Fame because of his link to PEDs.