Monday, April 13, 2009
Manny ponders Cleveland reunion
ESPN.com news services
Manny Ramirez is already yearning for the old days -- of Cleveland.
Ramirez, who early last month signed a two-year, $45 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, says a return to the Cleveland Indians before retirement would be ideal.
"I would like to play for Cleveland one more time, to go back where I started," Ramirez told USA Today. "I have so many good memories there, why not?
"I think to go back where you started is everyone's dream."
Ramirez, 37, led the Dodgers to the 2008 NL West title by hitting .396 with 17 homers and 53 RBIs in 53 regular-season games after a trade from the Boston Red Sox.
In the playoffs, he batted .520 with four homers, 10 RBIs, nine runs and 11 walks in eight games.
The Dodgers host the San Francisco Giants on Monday afternoon in their home opener.
According to USA Today, Ramirez talked to Chicago White Sox designated hitter Jim Thome this spring about an eventual return to Cleveland, telling his Indians teammate from 1993 to 2000 that if they were free agents after this season they should consider a reunion.
"Manny was very sincere when he brought that up to me," Thome said, according to the newspaper. "Manny was saying how special that would be for us to both go back together. He was very passionate. Baseball's such a weird thing. You never know what's going to happen."
Ramirez can opt out of his deal with the Dodgers next season, and Thome's contract with the White Sox expires at the end of this season.
"Me and Thome back in Cleveland?" Ramirez asked, according to the report. "That would be sweet.
"I love L.A. I really do. But the way the city responded to me, it reminded me a lot of how it was in Cleveland."