Manny Ramirez has made his imprint with many Major League Baseball organizations: the Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, L.A. Dodgers, even the Chicago White Sox toward the tail end of his career. Now he can include the Chicago Cubs on that list. Here’s an excerpt from a statement sent out by the Chicago Cubs just minutes ago:
The Chicago Cubs today signed Manny Ramirez to a minor league contract to be a player-coach at Triple-A Iowa. President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein, who was with Ramirez for seven years in the Boston Red Sox organization, made the announcement.
“We are excited to welcome Manny to the Cubs organization and look forward to him working with our young hitters,” Epstein said. “Manny is not only one of the best hitters of all time, he is also a dedicated student of hitting and has proven to be a gifted teacher with younger teammates who have worked with him in the batting cage. Behind the scenes he has always been a tireless worker who is very serious about the craft of hitting. Manny has made real mistakes in the past but he has owned up to them and moved his life in a positive direction the last couple of years. He is in a really great place right now and wants to share the lessons he’s learned along the way. We think he deserves another chance and that our young hitters will benefit from it.”
“While Manny is not and will not be a fit on the Cubs major league roster, we do think at this stage of his life he’s a nice fit as a mentor for some of the young talented hitters we have in the organization. Manny will coach full-time and play part-time in a limited role that does not take at-bats away from our prospects. If he shows there is still some magic in his bat, perhaps he will find his way to the major leagues and help another team, but that is not why he is here. We are thrilled that he wants to work with our young hitters and make a difference.”
Source: Chicago Cubs Media Relations distribution list.
And just in case you wondered if there’s any chance that Manny Ramirez reaches the parent club…well the statement obviously shoots that down. Over/under on “Manny being Manny” references by the local Chicago TV media today: 11. Hopefully, there are no “debate segments” by any local or national talking heads about bringing Ramirez up to the parent club. Yes, the Cubs have the worst record in baseball, and yes, they’ll easily lose 100+ games this year, but please, PLEASE just don’t go there.
The 41-year-old Ramirez will first report to the Cubs new facility in Mesa, Arizona for extended spring training at bats. After completing this stage, he will be called up to Des Moines. He hit .312 with 555 home runs in 2,302 games during his 19 year major league career.
Here is the statement attributed to Manny Ramirez sent out by the organization:
“I’m at the stage of my life and career where I really want to give something back to the game that I love — the game that has meant so much to me and done so much for me and my family,” Ramirez said. “I know I am nearing the end of my playing days, but I have a lot of knowledge to pass on to the next generation – both what to do and what not to do. The Cubs have some very talented young hitters, and I would love nothing more than to make a positive impact on their careers. I am passionate about baseball and about hitting, and I have a lot to offer. While I would love to return to the major leagues, I leave that in God’s hands. My focus will be on working with the young hitters, making sure they don’t make the same mistakes I made, and helping the team any way I can.”
Paul M. Banks owns The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. He’s also a frequent guest on national talk radio. Banks, a former contributor to NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, has been featured in numerous outlets including NFL.com, Forbes and the History Channel. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks