Earth stops on axis: Manny Ramirez plans return
There is a world Manny Ramirez lives in that you have never visited. Maybe you think you have. Maybe you think you’ve actually hung out there and bathed in its wackiness, but it never really happened.
Manny is a force unto himself, for all the good and bad that evokes, for the thrilling moments and absolute bizarreness.
Now comes this, and get a hold of your dreadlocks -- Manny wants to make a comeback!
The Times’ Dylan Hernandez has confirmed a Fox Sports report by Jon Morosi that Manny wants to resume his playing career in 2012 and has applied for reinstatement.
This comes after he tested positive a second time in violation of Major League Baseball’s drug policy. One week into last season for Tampa Bay, the news broke and Manny abruptly retired rather than serve a 100-game suspension.
This latest development is typically wacky on a couple of fronts, one being if he really wanted to keep playing he should have just served out the suspension last season and then tried to resume his career.
And then, of course, there is the matter of Manny simply not being a very good ballplayer when last seen. Check that, he was horrible.
To start the season with Tampa, he was 1 for 17. He did not hit a homer in his last 15 games with the Dodgers in 2010 when, his welcome worn out by his attitude, unpredictability and uncertain injuries, he was waived and picked up by the Chicago White Sox, where he hit .261 with one homer in 88 plate appearances.
Now he’s going to turn 40 in May and wants to make a comeback.
Just bet the offers will come pouring in. To help initiate the process, Ramirez has switched agents yet again. This time Scott Boras is out and Barry Praver and Scott Shapiro are in. And good luck to all.
Because he sat out the rest of last season, MLB is apparently going all sympathetic and open to halving his suspension to 50 games this season. Which would still make his being signed a long shot.
Why is he doing it? Is he that bored? It shouldn’t be a money thing. If someone does sign him, it won’t be for much. And of course, the prorated-happy Dodgers still owe him $8.3 million in each of the next two seasons.
Manny was arrested last September in Florida for allegedly hitting his wife, though she has apparently forgiven him. Roberto Baly recently posted a picture tweeted from Manny’s wife, Juliana, of them dining out with an inscription translated by Baly that read: "Celebrating a beautiful life that's ahead with my love.”
Hey, the life behind them has certainly been interesting. Just not one that happened on your planet.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Dodgers left fielder Manny Ramirez pauses during batting practice in San Diego. Credit: Robert Gauther / Los Angeles Times