Jayson Stark reports that Manny Ramirez had a workout in Florida a couple weeks ago for Japan’s Fukuoka Softbank Hawks.
We knew he was interested in playing in Japan, so this is not a terribly big surprise. Likewise, you’ll not be shocked to hear that the workout “didn’t go well.” I’m sure Manny still has some skills, but they’re likely not so great that they’re likely to overcome the fact that Japanese teams aren’t historically big on non-comformist yo-yos, and when you add in the recent criminal history of Manny’s, he’s toxic. Sure, if they thought he could hit 50 homers in Japan someone would take a chance, but he’s certainly seen his best days and may have also seen all of his useful days. No one with that profile is worth the baggage.
I think Manny’s only shot at playing again is (a) submitting to his 100 game suspension with no fuss to show people he’s going to be a good citizen; and (b) going on an absolute Rocky IV-style training binge, putting himself in better shape than he’s been in for a decade or something.
But really: when was the last time Ramirez did something with no fuss and when was the last time Ramirez appeared to dedicate himself to the game with focus and determination?
Yasiel Puig made a public appearance today. He was a guest barista at a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Los Angeles as part of a charity . . . thing. I dunno. I just hope that, after finishing the foam on someone’s latte he airmailed it past his fellow barista at the counter and got it to the customer on the fly 300 feet away, after which he flipped the espresso machine. Gotta stay on-brand.
After that he talked about baseball. Puig, who was demoted last season and then brought back up in a part-time role, said that it’s his goal to be a starter again, if not in Los Angeles than someplace else. As for the someplace else, the Dodgers explored a Puig trade last season and it was thought they’d try again this offseason, but it’s been all quiet on that front.
What is Puig, for his part, doing to become a starter again? Getting in shape. From MLB.com:
Puig has been working out at Dodger Stadium the last two weeks. He is conditioning his leaner body to avoid injuries that have plagued him and working with batting coaches in search of regaining the impact bat that once had him on the verge of superstardom . . . The 6-foot-2 Puig, who last year was listed at 240 pounds, now has a personal chef to prepare healthier foods.
A leaner Puig. That’ll certainly be a game-changer, right?
Yet as a new season dawns, the team still hopes he can recapture the form he displayed as a rookie in 2013. The organization asked Puig to slim down and focus on durability rather than musculature. Friedman sounded pleased with the result. Puig had suggested he weighed about 240 pounds, down 15 from his listed weight in 2015.
Oops. That was from January 30, 2016.
If he keeps getting leaner each offseason eventually he’ll just disappear, right?
Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays wasn’t a super huge guy or anything, but he’s going to be smaller this year: he told reporters today that he’s lost 25 pounds. He attributes it to a new diet and a workout regimen and says it’ll help him with his running, swing and throwing.
Dickerson had a down year in 2016, so if losing 25 pounds is something he thinks will work for him he’s got nothing to lose. Of course the best way for him to improve his numbers is to convince the Rays to trade him back to Colorado, but that’s not likely.