It seems that the “Where will Manny Ramirez Play” saga has found an end for now. The Sydney Blue Sox announced it has signed the former MLB star and two-time World Series champion to a deal for the upcoming ABL season.
It all started around March of this year when rumors floated around that Ramirez would join Parma Baseball in Italy as his wife had set her mind on living near Milan. According to the rumors, Manny was not asking form money but for luxury goods like cars, a villa and air travel. Unfortunately it never happened.
During the course of this year, it was rumored that Ramirez would join a newly founded team in the Taiwanese CPBL but that appeared to be all hearsay.
Early August, the rumors brought him closer to Sydney as New Zealand TVNZ.co.nz linked him to the Auckland Tuatara.
Blue Sox owner Adam Dobb was thrilled Ramirez was joining the team. “As a life-long Boston Red Sox fan this is a dream come true,” Dobb said. “Manny has been interested in the Australian Baseball League for quite a while now. It was his preference to play down here in a big city and we’re thrilled to have a player of his calibre in Sydney.”
The last time Ramirez played an MLB game was in 2011 when he joined the Tampa Bay Rays. But after he was tested positive on PEDs, he retired. Afterwards he played baseball for the last time in 2017 when he joined the Kochi Fighting Dogs of the Shikoku Island-Plus league, an independent league in Japan.
The Sox signed the 12-time All=Star as a player-coach. One can wonder how an 48-year old player still can contribute to a team. Perhaps it is a bold conclusion but the main reason why Ramirez has been signed is he will be a crowd-puller.
According to Dobbs, Ramirez wanted to be an ambassador for the sport in Australia and was keen to play a role in helping the development of his Sydney teammates as a player-coach.
One thing is for sure, despite his PED tainted career, Ramirez is someone who can’t stop playing as he loves to play for the love of the game. With a nearly twenty-year career, he doesn’t need the money anymore. Otherwise we could have called him “Manny being money.”