The baseball world will be getting some more “Manny being Manny” antics, as the 44-year-old Manny Ramirez is returning to the game…in Japan. The Hall of Fame candidate signed with the Kochi Fighting Dogs of the Shikoku Island League Plus, an independent league in Japan.
Ramirez’s last major league game was in 2011, but he has attempted numerous comebacks since then. He played in Triple-A in 2012 and 2013, played in the Chinese Professional Baseball League in 2013, and signed a minor-league deal as a player/coach in Triple-A with the Chicago Cubs.
The Boston Red Sox great is on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time in his career, and while his numbers are more than deserving, controversy surrounding possible performance enhancing drug use late in his career has tarnished his legacy.
Manny will forever be remembered for his quirky attitude and his crazy antics, known as “Manny being Manny,” but he’ll also go down as one of the most complete hitters in his generation. He hit for both power and average throughout his career, compiling a lifetime .312 batting average, 555 homers, and 1831 RBI.
A 12-time All-Star, Ramirez’s trophy case is nothing short of Hall of Fame worthy. He’s a two-time World Series champ, winning it all with the Red Sox in 2004 and 2007, earning a World Series MVP award for the first. He collected nine Silver Sluggers, two Hank Aaron Awards, was the AL RBI leader in 1999, the AL batting champion in 2002, and the AL home run leader in 2004.
Manny has been a part of many organizations in his baseball career, playing for the Cleveland Indians, Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, and Tampa Bay Rays. He played for the EDA Rhinos in the Chinese Professional Baseball League and will now join the Kochi FIghting Dogs in Japan.
He won’t put up the numbers we’ve seen from him in the past, but I for one am looking forward to see some footage of Manny being Manny when the Fighting Dogs begin their season in 2017.