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.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.