Manny Ramirez hits a homer in his second game with the Iowa Cubs

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Manny Ramirez was signed as a player/coach for the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate the Iowa Cubs. The Cubs also said that no matter what happens, they are not calling him up to the bigs. He’s there to coach and mentor young players, that’s it. Which is OK. I think Manny showed over the past couple of years that he can’t really cut it anymore. Even against Triple-A pitchers, he’s been pretty much overmatched.

But that’s cool. Because sometimes, when things go just right, he’ll connect. And we’ll get to see homemade video of it to distract us from remembering that Ramiez is basically done as a baseball player:

Like last night:

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?