Results tagged ‘ Manny Ramirez ’

7/23 Extra, extra bases

* With Mike Olt optioned to Triple-A Iowa, Luis Valbuena will get the majority of playing time at third base, manager Rick Renteria said. Valbuena made his 51st start at third on Wednesday; Olt had started 47 games at third.

* Olt will play first base and be the designated hitter while at Iowa. He was batting .139 in 72 games, but did lead all NL rookies with 12 home runs. He also has struck out 84 times in 187 at-bats.

“He acknowledged he’s gotten into a few bad habits at the plate, and bad habits that he couldn’t break out of at the big league level,” Theo Epstein said Wednesday. “I think playing every day down there will be good for him.”

* Cubs pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa, on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa, struck out two of the three batters he faced Wednesday. Fujikawa, who had Tommy John surgery in June 2013, threw 14 pitches, nine for strikes, in his second outing with the team.

* Manny Ramirez, a player/coach at Triple-A Iowa, was placed on the disabled list Wednesday with a right calf strain. Ramirez pinch-hit on Wednesday and was batting .176 (6-for-34) in 11 games with the Minor League team.

– Carrie Muskat

7/1 Minor matters

Kris Bryant hit a grand slam, Manny Ramirez belted a two-run homer and Josh Vitters hit a walk-off RBI single in the 10th inning in Iowa’s 7-6 win over Omaha Monday night. Ramirez went 3-for-4, hitting a two-run homer in the seventh. Bryant connected with two outs in the eighth off former Cubs pitcher Casey Coleman. It was Bryant’s 28th home run of the season, and sixth with Iowa. He finished 2-for-4, and was batting .333. Javier Baez also had two hits.

* Think about this: Bryant was 1 years old when Ramirez made his ML debut on Sept. 2, 1993.

Montgomery scored in the top of the 10th to beat Tennessee, 3-2. Elliot Soto had two hits. Matt Loosen did not get a decision, giving up two runs on two hits and three walks over six innings. It was his fifth quality start.

Daytona had the day off and returns to action Tuesday against Brevard County.

Kane County’s game was postponed because of rain. The Cougars return to action Tuesday against Peoria.

Tri-City scored nine runs in the final two innings to beat Boise, 11-5. Rashad Crawford had two hits and three RBIs.

Mesa had Monday off and will play the Reds on Tuesday.

6/26 Manny joins Iowa

Manny Ramirez joined the Cubs’ Triple-A Iowa team in Colorado Springs on Thursday, and the next phase of his career as a player-coach was to begin.

“He was brought on to share his experience with all the players who are there,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. “We’ll probably follow it more to how some of the kids are responding, some of the conversations that are had, some of the aspects of how he prepares on a daily basis.

“He’s always been known for being a very prepared individual and having a very methodical routine, which is something he can share with the players there,” Renteria said. “From afar, we’ll just watch what’s going on.”

The Iowa team was playing a doubleheader on Thursday to make up for a game April 27 that was postponed. Ramirez was in the lineup for the second game.

– Carrie Muskat

6/25 Manny to join Iowa Thursday

It’s time to see what Manny Ramirez can do as a player and a coach. Ramirez will join Triple-A Iowa on Thursday when the team opens a doubleheader against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. The Cubs signed Ramirez, 42, to a Minor League contract to be a player-coach, and he’s been working out at the Cubs’ complex in Mesa, Ariz. Ramirez was working with some of the young Minor Leaguers there, coaching them on hitting.

He has a lifetime .312 batting average, 555 home runs and 1,831 RBIs in 19 Major League seasons. He last appeared in the big leagues in five games with the Rays in 2009. A 12-time All-Star, Ramirez won the 2002 American League batting title, and was named the World Series’ Most Valuable Player in 2004 while with the Red Sox. Last season, Ramirez played 30 games with Triple-A Round Rock, and hit .259 with three home runs.

In a corresponding move, the Cubs released outfielder Casper Wells. He .197 with two doubles and six runs scored in 26 games with Iowa.

6/21 Manny being Manny

Manny Ramirez has yet to report to Triple-A Iowa, but Theo Epstein says the 42-year-old is having an impact on the young players in Mesa, Ariz., where he’s working out.

“I’ve gotten unsolicited texts and emails from a lot of the staff down there saying he’s been a breath of fresh air, the best thing that ever happened to the kids down in Mesa,” Epstein told reporters Friday in Chicago. “I’m really pleased with the impact he’s making on the organization.”

Ramirez was signed to be a player-coach at Iowa, and will likely join the team sometime next week, Epstein said.

“We’re not in a rush because he’s making an impact on young kids down there who are getting their first taste of pro ball as well as guys like Jorge Soler who are there rehabbing,” Epstein said.

5/28 Manny being Manny

MLB.com’s Ian Browne was one of the reporters covering Manny Ramirez’s return to Boston as part of a celebration of the 2004 World Champion Red Sox. Here’s part of his report from Boston:

Manny Ramirez returned to Fenway Park on Wednesday with a big smile and a full crowd of Boston fans cheering his every step. Hired on Sunday to be a coach/player with the Cubs’ Triple-A Iowa team, Ramirez seemed genuinely excited about his opportunity to get back in the game.

“Yes, I’m looking forward to that,” said Ramirez, who was at Fenway Park for the 10-year anniversary celebration of the 2004 Red Sox. “That’s a blessing from God because I could go over there and give those kids my testimony on what to do in the field and what not to do off the field. It’s going to be a blast. We’re going to go and have fun out there.”

At his best, Ramirez has always been fun, cracking people up with his quirks and his fun-loving nature.

At his worst, Ramirez brooded and asked out of the lineup and even pushed Red Sox traveling secretary Jack McCormick to the floor in an ugly incident about a month before the club traded him in ’08. And for those type of moments, Ramirez expressed plenty of remorse on Wednesday -– first to McCormick and later to the media.

“Yes, yes, yes, I went and spoke to Jack,” said Ramirez. “I apologized to Jack. I told him, ‘Jack, I want you to forgive me because it was my fault. I behaved bad here with everybody. I want you to forgive me.’ He said, ‘Manny, thank you, I was waiting for that.’”

Ramirez’s exile from baseball was not pretty. In 2009 with the Dodgers and then again in ’11 while with the Rays, he was suspended for failing tests for performance-enhancing drugs. He tried to make it back, first with the Athletics and later with the Rangers, but couldn’t make it past the Minor Leagues.

Now, Ramirez has a new opportunity, one which was given to him by Theo Epstein, his former GM.

“It felt great, the way everything turned out, just for him to think about me, so that I could go out and help those young guys is a blessing,” Ramirez said. “I was in my house. I was just there with my kids. My agent called me and said, ‘Hey, I’ve got a job for you’. So we prayed for it first and then I accepted the job.”

Religion has become a central point in Ramirez’s life. What were the circumstances that led to that?

“When I went to jail with that problem with my wife [in 2011], they didn’t let me see my kids for maybe two or three months,” Ramirez said. “One day, I wake up and I look myself in the mirror and I said, ‘I needed a change.’ So I started going to bible studies and I saw that it was good so I kept going and God helped me to change my life.”

And now, Ramirez will see if he can make a difference in the lives of Cubs’ prospects while also getting to play a couple of times a week.

“It’s the game that I love,” he said. “I belong in the game and when you can help out young people and give advice, advice that you have for free, it’s good to give it up to young players.”

The process of molding young hitting minds will start at some point next week, Ramirez said. He will first go to the Cubs’ player development facilities in Mesa, Ariz., to get his legs under him, and then join the Iowa team.

“Well, I’ve got it very clear that I was only going to play maybe two times a week,” Ramirez said. “They’re not going to take any at-bats from the prospects. I know my role over there.”

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.”

5/25 Cubs sign Ramirez to be player-coach

The Cubs signed Manny Ramirez to a Minor League contract to be a player-coach at Triple-A Iowa. Theo Epstein, who was with Ramirez for seven years in the Red Sox organization, made the announcement.

“We are excited to welcome Manny to the Cubs organization and look forward to him working with our young hitters,” Epstein said. “Manny is not only one of the best hitters of all time, he is also a dedicated student of hitting and has proven to be a gifted teacher with younger teammates who have worked with him in the batting cage. Behind the scenes he has always been a tireless worker who is very serious about the craft of hitting.

“Manny has made real mistakes in the past but he has owned up to them and moved his life in a positive direction the last couple of years,” Epstein said. “He is in a really great place right now and wants to share the lessons he’s learned along the way. We think he deserves another chance and that our young hitters will benefit from it.”

“While Manny is not and will not be a fit on the Cubs major league roster, we do think at this stage of his life he’s a nice fit as a mentor for some of the young talented hitters we have in the organization,” Epstein said. “Manny will coach full-time and play part-time in a limited role that does not take at-bats away from our prospects. If he shows there is still some magic in his bat, perhaps he will find his way to the Major Leagues and help another team, but that is not why he is here. We are thrilled that he wants to work with our young hitters and make a difference.”

Ramirez, 41, is a lifetime .312 hitter with 555 home runs in 2,302 games covering 19 Major League seasons.

“I’m at the stage of my life and career where I really want to give something back to the game that I love — the game that has meant so much to me and done so much for me and my family,” Ramirez said in a statement. “I know I am nearing the end of my playing days, but I have a lot of knowledge to pass on to the next generation – both what to do and what not to do. The Cubs have some very talented young hitters, and I would love nothing more than to make a positive impact on their careers.

“I am passionate about baseball and about hitting, and I have a lot to offer,” he said. “While I would love to return to the Major Leagues, I leave that in God’s hands. My focus will be on working with the young hitters, making sure they don’t make the same mistakes I made, and helping the team any way I can.”

Ramirez will report to the Cubs’ spring training facility in Mesa, Ariz., for at-bats in extended spring training before joining Iowa.

No Manny for Dodgers @ Cubs

Manny Ramirez was not on the Dodgers’ travel squad for Friday’s game at HoHoKam Park in Mesa. Ramirez, who signed a two-year deal with the Dodgers on Thursday, has said he’ll need about a week to get ready for games. Among the Cubs pitchers scheduled to start are Ryan Dempster, Justin Berg, Andrew Cashner, Mike Stanton, Luis Vizcaino and Randy Wells.

– Carrie Muskat

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