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?