Manny Ramirez’s Return?
Manny Ramirez’s Return?, Manny Ramirez might not make his return to the majors on his 40th birthday after all.
The veteran slugger, completing a 50-day suspension for violating baseball’s policy on performance-enhancing dugs, has been working his way back at Class AAA Sacramento with the expectation he’ll join the Oakland A’s when he’s first eligible next Wednesday. That also happens to be his birthday.
But A’s manager Bob Melvin said today the team would like to see Ramirez swing the bat effectively before activating him, and he’s only had eight at-bats – with three hits – in three games so far.
“We want to get him close to 40 at-bats,” Melvin said. “We are not locked in to the 30th. We want to make sure he’s productive.”
Ramirez, who has a .312 career batting average and 555 home runs, has not played in the majors since April 6, 2011, when he was with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Upon learning he had flunked a drug test for the second time – Ramirez was also suspended 50 games in 2009 while with the Los Angeles Dodgers – he retired five games into the season rather than face a 100-game banishment.
Ramirez decided to come back during the offseason, saying he had found religion and did not want to end his career on such a sour note. The penalty was later reduced to 50 games because Ramirez essentially sat out last season. (USA TODAY)
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