5/26 Ramirez follow up

On Sunday, the Cubs announced they have hired Manny Ramirez as a player-coach, and he will report to Triple-A Iowa. Theo Epstein is very familiar with Ramirez from their days with the Red Sox. Here are some comments Epstein made to beat reporters on Sunday in San Diego.

“In talking to Manny in the past, when I’ve talked to him about some of the Boston years and things that he went through, years ago he had someone else to blame,” Epstein told reporters. “It was a bad fit with the city of Boston. It was a bad situation. It was always someone else’s fault. When you talk to Manny about it, he says ‘it wasn’t Boston, it was me. I didn’t treat people the right way. I didn’t look at things the right way, and you have to pay the consequences.’

“’It was nobody’s fault. It was my fault. And I see that now and want to make that better and give back and impact young people and give back to the game that’s meant so much to me.’

“He’s extremely accountable. Right now, he’s extremely honest, and he has a lot offer in part because of what he went through. You never know in this world. But I think there’s a potential high impact here. If can can influence one player, make them a little bit calmer in the box, give them a little better approach to hitting, teach them something about how to approach the right-handed breaking ball the right way, if he can convince one player not to do PEDs (performance enhancing drugs), if he can influence one player the right way and in a positive way, then it was worthwhile.

“He’s going to be around some of our better prospects. It’s important. But it’s relatively low-risk as well. It’s something that if it doesn’t go well, we can terminate. But I think it will go well. I think Manny is doing this for the right reasons.”

Epstein said he researched Ramirez’s responsibility in admitted guilt to his failed tests in 2009 with the Dodgers and with the Rays in 2011 “because it was an important issue and it was a mistake that he made.

“All accounts were he was extremely accountable and extremely cooperative and handled it with a lot of maturity and was impressive,” Epstein said. “And how he handled the whole thing after the fact and wanted to help .Those who dealt with him, the signing was blessed by those people. You take the time to talk to people who have been around Manny, the last two years in particular, you’ll find people who describe a mature, accountable person who wants to make up for mistakes in his past.”

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