Manny Ramirez was at Fenway Park on Wednesday to attend the 10-year celebration of the Red Sox 2004 World Series Championship. While Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer were not in attendance for Wednesday’s festivities at Fenway, Epstein and Hoyer were invited back for an organization dinner on Tuesday night to honor the ’04 team.
Ramirez told Paul Sullivan he is planning to report to the Iowa Cubs next week. The I-Cubs are on the road and open a four-game series and homestand on Thursday, June 5 against Colorado Springs. Ramirez said he planned on talking with Theo Epstein to determine an exact date. Ramirez will spend time at the Cubs’ facility in Mesa before reporting to Des Moines.
According to Sullivan’s report, Epstein told Ramirez he would play maybe two times a week for Iowa and Ramirez is fine with the playing time. Ramirez knows his role with the I-Cubs and is looking forward to it. Ramirez reiterated Wednesday what Epstein said in the statement announcing the signing. Ramirez is not going to take away any at bats from the Cubs prospects. And while Ramirez has been told he will not be added to the Cubs big league roster, it doesn’t sound like Ramirez has given up hope that a team will give him another chance in the majors.
“I haven’t played in a long time,” Ramirez told the Tribune. “I just need a team that trusts me and gives me the opportunity and has the patience for me to come up.” Sullivan pointed out that while Epstein has said Ramirez will not be called up for the Cubs, Epstein “didn’t discount the idea of flipping him for a prospect down the stretch if a team is interested.”
Manny Ramirez admitted Wednesday that he knows what he did during his playing days and while he was in Boston was wrong. Ramirez apologized to Jack McCormick, the traveling secretary that Ramirez pushed down in 2008, and Mr. McCormick said he had been waiting for it and accepted his apology. Many around the Red Sox, including Peter Gammons, were glad to see Ramirez finally apologize to Mr. McCormick.
Ramirez vowed that he has changed and his new life as a devout Christian started when “he found religion in a jail after a misdemeanor battery charge in 2011 for allegedly slapping his wife.”
Theo Epstein shocked the baseball world last Sunday when the announcement was made the Cubs had signed Ramirez to a minor league contract to be a player-coach and mentor for the Iowa Cubs. Epstein and Ramirez didn’t have the best relationship during their time together in Boston. Several of the players at Fenway for the celebration were rather surprised when they heard the news Epstein had hired Ramirez.
On Theo Epstein giving him yet another opportunity, Ramirez told Ian Browne, “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. 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 I accepted the job.”
On working with the Cubs’ prospects, Manny Ramirez told the Tribune, “That’s a blessing from God. I have to give those kids my testimony – what to do on the field, what not to do off the field. It’s going to be a blast. We’re going to have fun.”
When asked why he would take a job in the minors as a player-coach, Ramirez responded, “It’s the game I love. 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.”