When last we saw Manny Ramirez, he was serving as a hitting consultant for the Cubs organization, splitting time between Chicago and Iowa. Before that he was a player/coach — emphasis on the “coach” — for their Triple-A club. Before that he played 49 games in Taiwan.
He has not played in the big leagues since he did a five-game stint for the Rays in 2011. The fact that his big leage career ended in a couple of PED suspensions suggests that, even five years ago, his body was not up to challenge of big league ball anymore.
But it seems he may wish to play pro ball again, at the age of 44. At least so says his wife. She tells TMZ that Manny is in talks with a professional baseball team outside of the United States. And that he’s training super hard:
“He is training extremely hard . . . Batting, CrossFit, Orange Theory. He never stops. I told him, ‘Go for it!’ Baseball is the love of his life other than his family and I totally support him 100% … ’cause I know how much it means for him.”
Ramirez is on the Hall of Fame ballot this year. Will he be on a professional roster someplace too? Related: will it be in a league with a strong anti-drug policy? Just tryin’ to plan for future posts, you guys.
Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.
On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.
Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.
As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.
Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”
The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.