Manny Being Manny may be coming back to a baseball field near you. Kind of.
I’d like to preface this news by saying this: Please, take this news and inject it straight into my veins. If there’s anything the baseball world — nay, the sports world — needs right now, it’s a Manny Ramirez comeback story.
The former MLB All-Star and two-time World Series champ revelead in an interview with the Taiwan Times that he’s mulling a return to the Chinese Professional Baseball League this season. At age 48. Yes, please.
“My goal for 2020 is to find a roster spot in the CPBL,” Ramirez said. “I have been itching to get back in the batter’s box and be able to compete again. I also miss being around teammates and team dinners post-game.”
There’s a small caveat to the idea: Ramirez wants to take the field as a player-coach, and doubles down on it by saying he would do “great things for the organization and the league.”
Ramirez said that while living in South Florida, he’s been getting his body back in playing shape. While Ramirez last played baseball in 2014-2015, he has experience in the CPBL, playing with the EDA Rhinos in 2013. In 49 games, Ramirez hit eight home runs, pairing with a .352 average and .977 OPS.
Ramirez also said he’s gotten offers from the independent Atlantic League, where many former MLB players have stepped into the batter’s box.
“My message to the CPBL clubs would be that I am still confident in my ability to serve as a player-coach and provide positive contributions to any ball club that is willing to have me on their staff/roster,” Ramirez said. “I have been working out daily and keeping my mind at ease, with only one thing in mind — how to get back on the field.”
He last played in MLB in 2011 as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays. Ramirez’s career is maligned with PED suspensions, but he is also heralded as one of the greatest right-handed hitters of all time. He belted 555 career home runs and carried a .312 average, finishing in the top 10 for MVP voting every year between 1998 and 2005.
If it happens, 2020 is a lock to go down as the weirdest baseball year in history. Please, Manny. Be the light the world needs right now.