x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

MLB: Expectations limited for Manny Ramirez comeback with Rangers

He has not played an MLB game since 2011, when he was suspended for a second failed drug test but Texas Rangers just signed him to a minor league contract, writes Gregg Patton.

Former Major League Baseball star Manny Ramirez signed a short-term contract to play for the EDA Rhinos in Taiwan's professional baseball league, in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The Texas Rangers signed Ramirez to a minor league contract last weekend. Wally Santana / AP Photo
Former Major League Baseball star Manny Ramirez signed a short-term contract to play for the EDA Rhinos in Taiwan's professional baseball league, in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The Texas Rangers signed Ramirez to a minor league contract last weekend. Wally Santana / AP Photo

Some players just cannot seem to let go of baseball and, obviously, Manny Ramirez is one of them.

Some athletes we just cannot seem to stop watching, out of morbid curiosity, as well, and Ramirez is definitely one of them, too.

The 41-year-old former Cleveland Indians and Tampa Bay Rays outfielder has not played an MLB game since April 2011, when he was suspended for 100 games for a second failed drug test.

Instead of serving it, Ramirez retired.

Most of us thought that was the last we would see of this periodic train wreck, whose best days in Cleveland, Boston and Los Angeles thrilled multitudes of fans.

His worst days, of course, also made those same people pull their hair out and say good riddance.

In early 2012, he un-retired. Ramirez appealed his suspension and served a reduced 50-game penalty as an Oakland A's minor leaguer, getting into 17 games that impressed no one.

This season, he played three months in Taiwan, building a resume of eight home runs and a .352 batting average.

Texas Rangers took the bait. They signed him and sent him to Triple-A Round Rock over the weekend, hoping to capture any remaining traces of lightning in the famed bat.

"No expectations," said the Rangers general manager Jon Daniels, smartly.

Never knowing what to expect is exactly why we have always watched, too.

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