Lately it occurs to me what a long, strange trip it’s been. - Truckin, The Grateful Dead
Jul 7, 2013; Round Rock, TX, USA; Round Rock Express designated hitter Manny Ramirez (99) greets fans before a game against the Omaha Storm Chasers at the Dell Diamond. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports
This is a story that simply won’t go away. This week the Texas Rangers signed Manny Ramirez to a minor league contract. That’s right kids. The 41-year old Manny Ramirez.
The veteran masher, whom the the Rangers recently signed to a minor-league contract, is poised for a comeback at least as a DH down the stretch as the Rangers look to complement switch-hitter DH Lance Berkman, recently placed on the DL with a hip injury, in the second half of the season.
This season Ramirez batted .352/.422/.555 for the EDA Rhinos of Taiwan’s Chinese Professional Baseball League. Apparently that was good enough for the Rangers to give Ramirez a shot. Editorial comment: good luck with that.
Sunday night, Ramirez will be in the lineup and batting cleanup for Triple-A Round Rock of the Pacific Coast League and is expected to play the full nine innings.
“I can do it,” Ramirez said during a Sunday news conference. “I’ve been thinking about this day almost for a week. I’m just like a little kid going back and playing the game that I love.” I’ve been thinking about this for almost a week? Classic Manny.
If Ramirez’s Triple-A stint goes well, then he may see part-time duty as a DH for Texas.
Ramirez has 2,574 hits; 555 homers; 574 doubles; a .996 OPS; and nine top-10 MVP finishes during his major-league career.
I am a Mainer transplanted in Virginia but remain a hard-core Boston sports fan, particularly as concerns the Red Sox. I'm old enough to remember the 1967 Impossible Dream season, which cemented my love for the Sox for life. By profession I am an IT manager, which I love but at the end of the day I'm a bit of a writer and musician trapped in a technologist's body. As I have aged I can clearly see the nexus of music and sports. Great musicians have athletic stamina and incredible drive while top athletes can bring a crowd to both full throat and then sublime appreciation as if the crowd were listening to a moving musical piece. Athlete as rock star. Musician as a rigorously trained galvanizing force and cultural hero. Close your eyes and the two are nearly interchangeable. Sox on! Rock on! Twitter: @petersonstephen