Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Manny Ramirez agrees to minor league deal with Rangers
|07.04.13 at 8:23 am ET|
THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Padres at Red Sox, 1:35 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Brewers at Nationals, 11 a.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cubs at Athletics, 4 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Mariners at Rangers, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
Canadian Football League: Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Montreal Alouettes, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 8 a.m. (ESPN)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Manny Ramirez is getting another shot at the majors, and he even agreed to cut off his dreadlocks for the opportunity.
Ramirez, the former Red Sox star who was twice suspended for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, agreed to a minor league deal with the Rangers. He’s slated to report to Triple-A Round Rock on Thursday to start working out, and he’ll serve as designated hitter when he is activated. He agreed to “comply with our minor league rules on appearance and discipline,” said Rangers general manager Jon Daniels.
“[My salary] is the minimum wage, but for me it’s too much money,” Ramirez told ESPNDeportes.com, adding: “I feel blessed spiritually; I have no words to describe how happy I am.”
The 41-year-old has not played in the majors since early in the 2011 season with the Rays. He recently returned from Taiwan, where he hit .352 with eight home runs and 43 RBIs for the EDA Rhinos of the Chinese Professional Baseball League.
“It’s kind of a no-risk flier,”Daniels said. “We like giving guys second chances. We know on and off the field the good and bad in Manny’s career. But we’re inclined to give him an opportunity here.”
Added Daniels: “We’re really just kind of going off the resume here a little bit. If he’s productive and we feel he fits our culture here in the clubhouse, we’ll give him an opportunity. If either of those ends don’t pan out, then kind of no harm, no foul.”
Ramirez was traded from the Red Sox in 2008, when Dave Magadan was in his second year as Red Sox hitting coach. Magadan, now the Rangers hitting coach, filled in his new team about Ramirez’s questionable behavior at Fenway.
“There were some bridges that were burned in Boston,” Magadan said. “It was unfortunate the way it ended up there because he did a lot of good things while he was there. But in the end it wasn’t pretty.”
♦ Alex Rodriguez grounded out twice in his second rehab start for the Class-A Charleston (S.C.) RiverDogs, leaving him without a hit in two games.
“I don’t mind if I save all my hits for New York,” joked Rodriguez, who is recovering from January hip surgery.
Rodriguez, who is scheduled to play for the Yankees’ minor league team in Tampa on Friday, started a double play in the field, one day after coming up short on two bunts to him at third base.
“It wasn’t too bad,” he said. “That’s the first time in eight months I’ve gone out there back to back.”
The RiverDogs, who lost to the Rome (Ga.) Braves in 10 innings, 8-5, had a crowd of 7,667 after drawing 8,255 for A-Rod’s first game back on Tuesday. Rodriguez signed autographs for fans after leaving Wednesday’s game. He also posed for pictures with singer Darius Rucker, best known as the lead singer for Hootie and the Blowfish.
“I love this place,” Rodriguez said.
The feeling isn’t completely mutual. Here’s the reaction when A-Rod was introduced Tuesday.
♦ Bulls guard Derrick Rose, who came under some criticism when he sat out the postseason after receiving medical clearance, admitted he was “selfish,” but he insisted he made “the right decision.”
“I’m not a selfish guy at all, but having this injury and going through what I had to go through and being smart, it’s something that I had to be selfish with,” he said in a story on the team’s website. “I couldn’t worry about anyone else but myself and my health.”
Rose called sitting out “one of the hardest things I’ve had to go through in my life.” He said fans eventually will understand why he chose that route, once he returns to action.
“I think me going on the court and showing them and letting them know it was the right decision,” he said.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On July 4, 1983, Yankees left-hander Dave Righetti no-hit the Red Sox, allowing just two walks. Which Sox player struck out to end the game?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Brad and I share a lot of the same values. Though he is young, I see Brad as a great leader who leads with impeccable character and a strong work ethic. His teams always play hard and execute on both ends of the court. Brad is a coach who has already enjoyed lots of success, and I look forward to working with him towards Banner 18.” — Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, announcing Butler’s Brad Stevens as the C’s new coach
STAT OF THE DAY: 6 – Years since the Red Sox had a player named American League Rookie of the Month (Jacoby Ellsbury in September 2007), until Jose Iglesias earned the honor for June
‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Fox Sports Next sideline reporter Amy Campbell is interviewing national recruiting analyst Chad Simmons at The Opening, a competition for elite high school football prospects, when she gets taken out by a player scoring a touchdown.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Wade Boggs
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Bill Withers was born on this day in 1938.
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