Manny Ramirez is 42 years old, was suspended from major-league baseball twice for PED violations, and is now playing for the Class AAA Cubs team in Iowa.
Monday night, he reminded everyone that he still has the best right-handed swing in baseball this side of Hank Aaron. He's even wearing No. 44 to prove it.
His two-run, opposite-field shot came in the Cubs' 7-6 victory over Omaha. Surprisingly, he was able to round the bases in less than 10 minutes and didn't bother to stop and admire his first minor-league home run since last season's brief stint with the Rangers' Class AAA affiliate. Manny's OPS is 1.125 after eight plate appearances this season.
When current Cubs baseball boss and former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein signed Manny a few weeks ago, much of the baseball world thought he had lost a bit of his mind. Monday, Theo was on the radio in Boston talking about how Theo has won over the hearts and minds of many in the Cubs organization.
A few weeks back, the Cubs signed Ramirez as a player/coach for the Class AAA team. He spent some time in Arizona getting into shape but went 0-for-4 with two whiffs in his debut. His two-run shot Monday happened in his second game with the team and came at the expense of Royals right-hander Sugar Ray Marimon.
This time, it was Sugar Ray who was probably saying "No mas, Manny. No mas."
Manny remains a polarizing figure in Boston. He's mostly beloved by the Red Sox fan base and mostly despised by media types. Monday night's home run was just a taste of what he once did for the Red Sox on a nightly basis, whenever he decided it was worth his while.
Ramirez, who played in Boston from 2001-08 and was the 2004 World Series MVP, last played in the majors back in 2011 after bailing on the Tampa Bay Rays following his second PED suspension. He hit 555 home runs while playing with the Indians, Red Sox, Dodgers, and White Sox. His call-up with the Class AAA Rangers fizzled last season after 30 games.
The OBF column is written by award-winning journalist and Bay State native Bill Speros. Hit him up on his Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page, on Twitter @realOBF or at his
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