Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Manny's back stateside, hilarity sure to ensue

The Texas Rangers have signed former Red Sox and Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez to a minor league contract, and he'll start with the AAA Round Rock in central Texas tomorrow. Ramirez has spent the last few months playing for the EDA Rhinos of China's Professional Baseball League in Taiwan, making a tiny fraction of what he became accustomed to in the majors.

Manny reports that he's unconcerned with money, and that he's even planning to give his minimum salary to charity, a lackadaisical approach that fits with his persona. Throughout his successful (and apparently artificially enhanced) major league career, Manny has been something of an enigma: he was the proud owner of the league's highest salary for a time, yet always played with the reckless abandon of a little leaguer (perhaps a little leaguer with ADHD?).

Like the time he cut off Johnny Damon's throw from center field...? We never did get an explanation for that.

It was clear by the end of his tenure in Boston that the city was finally tired of putting up with Manny's antics, from often questionable defense to phantom injuries that only seemed to crop up when he was annoyed with someone. When the Dodgers took him off our hands, it seemed like a good deal for everyone - Boston got rid of an expensive and troublesome fielder, and LA had the fun-loving celebrity type their fans love so much.

Even the steroids allegations and suspensions weren't terribly surprising. Certainly we were disappointed, but nothing's unbelievable when it comes to Manny Ramirez. I mean, have you ever checked out his official website? It's difficult to describe, but quintessentially Manny.

The Red Sox have already wrapped up the season series with the Rangers, so even if Manny gets called up, he won't be making any Fenway Park appearances this season, barring a Texas/Boston playoff matchup. However, I'll still be keeping an eye on him, because if nothing else, Manny always generates controversy, entertainment, and hilarity everywhere he pops up, and it makes baseball extra fun to watch - especially since he's no longer causing friction on my team.

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