The Chicago Cubs have given Manny Ramirez a chance to return to baseball. He has joined the Cubs’ organization to be a player-coach in Triple-A-Iowa. The news may come as a shock to many, who considered Ramirez’s comeback attempt to be a failing one.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 25, 2014
The Chicago Cubs released a statement on Ramirez’s signing.
“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. 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.”
As you would expect, Ramirez also spoke of his new, player-coach deal.
“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.
“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. 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 is a lifetime .312 hitter with 555 home runs and 1831 runs batted in, he last played in the big leagues for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011, when he struggled mightily, batting .059 in five games.