Manny Ramirez, who signed a deal in January to play with the Kochi Fighting Dogs of the Japanese independent Shikoku Island League, has extended his contract with the club through the end of the 2017 season. The previous contract ran until the end of the month of July.
There are players who never want to quit playing baseball. Manny Ramirez is one of them. So far, Ramirez is hitting a whopping .406 in the league with three home runs and twenty runs batted in.
After the first half of the Shikoku Island League ended in May, Ramirez returned home to the US. But the team appeared very pleased with him as they approached him to join their ranks again. Now Ramirez will return to Japan in the course of July to prepare himself for the start of the second half of the season on July 30.
Ramirez commented, “I am very excited about being able to play again for Kochi and want to have fun” with the team. The team’s president Kajida Kohsu says, “I am expecting the team will have a great boost thanks to Manny and the team’s morale will also increase. I also think the fans will be pleased as well.”
Ramirez will always be known for his wayward behavior at times, which earned him the phrase “Manny being Manny.” At times he just refused to hustle to catch a fly ball. But on the other hand, Ramirez was a tremendous hitter during his MLB days. In eighteen years of MLB service, with the Cleveland Indians, the Boston Red Sox, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Chicago White Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays, he hit .312 during his career with 555 home runs, 20 triples and 547 doubles.
He will also be remembered for being caught for PED use and his sudden departure from the Tampa Bay Rays after five games.
A good example of Manny being Manny was when he left the DPA Rhinos of the Taiwanese professional competition CPBL, nine days before his contract expired in 2013.