Manny Ramirez: I'll be a role model

Updated: January 12, 2012, 2:21 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Early last season, Manny Ramirez abruptly retired from baseball after a second violation of baseball's performance-enhancing drug rules, choosing to walk away from the game rather than serve a 100-game suspension.

Now, Ramirez wants to land a tryout with a major league team for spring training, hoping that his filing for reinstatement and having his ban shortened from 100 games to 50 games will show teams that he's changed.

Ramirez
Ramirez

"I want to show people that Manny can change, that he can do the right thing," Ramirez told ESPN's Pedro Gomez in an interview. "And to show people that I still can play. I don't want to leave the game like I did. I also want to show my kids that if you make a mistake, don't quit. Just go back and fix it. And if you're going to leave, leave the right way."

Ramirez, who's currently working out in Florida, taking swings in a batting cage and getting in shape by working out in a pool, believes he can be a role model if a team gives him a chance.

"A bunch of guys are going to look at me and say hey, this guy made a mistake but he didn't quit. Look how he finished. He did the right thing and came back," Ramirez told Gomez.

Ramirez, 39, is an 18-year veteran who spent time with the Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay Rays. He's a career .312 hitter, with 555 home runs and 1,831 RBIs.

When asked about his chances at the Hall of Fame now, after twice violating MLB's drug policy, Ramirez said: "For me, now, if it happens, it's a plus. But I got my Hall of Fame right here, my family."

Ramirez's training in Florida has confirmed his belief that he can "still play the game."

"Hitting is about repetition," he said in the interview. "So that's why I picked up swinging. It's not only your body, it's your mind. When you're doing everything right, and you're firm in life, everything comes easy. But when you have all these problems in your head and with your family, it's hard to concentrate."

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