SYDNEY, Australia – Manny Ramirez – yes, that Manny Ramirez – is going to play baseball, in Australia.
The former Boston Red Sox star, now 48, will start the season with the Sydney Blue Sox on Thursday in the Australian Baseball League.
Blue Sox manager Shane Barclay has said that the physical condition of the two world series winners at the beginning of the season – which will start against defending champions Melbourne Aces – is optimal.
“He is an incredible athlete. It is a legitimate comeback, he wants to play and contribute as much as possible. He will hit long balls this season, “said Barclay.
Ramirez, who was named MVP in the World Series when the Red Sox ended its 86-year non-championship drought in 2004, has played less in the United States, as well as in China and Japan, since the end of his Major League career.
In 2009, Ramirez was suspended for 50 games for violating Major League Anti-Doping policy. In 2011, the Dominican was punished for the same reason and received 100 matches. However, he challenged the sanction and won his case, lowering the suspension to 50 games.