Manny Ramirez seeks reinstatement
Manny Ramirez, upon learning he will not be able to play winter ball in the Dominican Republic because he's on MLB's inactive list, told ESPNdeportes.com Thursday that he will formally request reinstatement.
Ramirez said that upon reentry, he would serve his 100-game suspension for a second violation of MLB's drug policy.
"I would comply with my pending sanction and I would be available for any major league team," Ramirez told ESPNdeportes.com's Enrique Rojas via telephone from Miami. "I already informed (agent) Scott Boras of my decision to return and begin the process.
"If any team wants to sign me, I would play. If no one does, I would look to play in Japan or any other place. I was not prepared for retirement."
Ramirez cannot serve his suspension until he signs with a major league club.
I was not prepared for retirement.” -- Manny Ramirez
Ramirez, who retired in April from the Tampa Bay Rays rather than serve the 100-game ban, told his former Dominican Republic winter league team, the Cibao Eagles, that he wanted play again in the league.
Ramirez, who was born in the Dominican capital city of Santo Domingo and grew up in New York's Washington Heights neighborhood, last played in the Dominican winter league during the 1993-94 season with the Eagles.
Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball's executive vice president of labor relations, confirmed Thursday that Ramirez would not be able to play in the Dominican because he's on the inactive list and must first receive permission from commissioner Bud Selig's office.
"Manny Ramirez cannot play for a major or minor league club or any affiliated organization, including a winter league team, without getting the consent of the commissioner,'' Manfred said.
Ramirez, a 12-time All-Star, previously served a 50-game ban in 2009 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Second-time offenders get double that penalty.
"I'm really interested and enthusiastic about playing baseball [in the Dominican Republic], but I can't control the future,'' Ramirez said via phone Wednesday, adding that he's been training in a batting cage in Miami. "Let's just wait and see what's the outcome of that meeting; it would be really sad if I'm not allowed to play.''
Ramirez retired from the majors with 555 home runs, 1,831 RBIs and a .312 career batting average. But his multiple performance-enhancing drug offenses have cast a major cloud over his Hall of Fame aspirations.
He also is facing criminal prosecution in Florida on charges that he slapped his wife during a recent argument. He told investigators only that he grabbed his wife by the shoulders during an argument and "shrugged" her, causing her to hit her head on the headboard of their bed.
Information from ESPNdeportes.com's Enrique Rojas, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick and The Associated Press was used in this report.