If Manny Ramirez doesn’t have a job in Major League Baseball by March 7, he will play for a team in Taiwan.
Ramirez said that the EDA Rhinos of the China Professional Baseball League established March 7 as the deadline for a final decision. The Rhinos, formerly known as the Sinon Bulls, will play their first regular-season game on March 17.
“I will play in Taiwan if I cannot get work in the U.S. by that deadline,” Ramirez said. “It will be a new experience, to experience another culture while I keep doing what I love and what I’ve done in all my life, playing baseball.”
Ramirez didn’t provide financial details of his agreement with EDA, but a good foreign player usually earns about $12,000 per month in Taiwan.Three weeks ago, Ramirez told ESPNDeportes.com that he would prefer to wait for a call from an MLB team before looking for a job in another part of the world. But the phone never rang.
“My agents called almost every team in the AL, but nobody was interested,” Ramirez said.
To increase his chances of landing an MLB job, the 12-time All-Star played winter ball in the Dominican Republic for the first time in 18 years. He hit .298 with eight home runs, 27 RBIs and 21 runs in 181 at-bats with Aguilas Cibaenas.
“I have no control over that situation. I thought that showing in the field what I can still do will facilitate my comeback, but that has not happened,” Ramirez said. “But I’ll settle for playing in Taiwan or elsewhere in the summer and winter ball in my country.”
Ramirez, 40, batted .312 with 555 homers and 1.831 RBIs in 19 MLB seasons before retiring from baseball in April 2011 after committing a second violation of MLB’s drug policy.Last year he signed a minor league contract with the Oakland A’s and served a 50-game penalty in Triple-A, but he became a free agent after Oakland didn’t call him up to the majors midseason.
Sammy Sosa thinks he and fellow steroid-tainted star Mark McGwire belong in the Hall of Fame.
Slammin’ Sammy also said the Chicago Cubs should retire his number, and he left open the possibility of running for president of the Dominican Republic during an interview Wednesday on the website Ustream.com.
Asked if he thinks he or McGwire belong in the Hall, Sosa said: “I think so.”
“I’m not going to come here and say anything that is going to jeopardize my future,” he added. “But definitely time will determine everything. Right now whatever it is, it is. I am not (somebody who) is going to go out there and say anything I don’t want to say. I’m waiting for my time. … I don’t like controversy. Definitely time will determine everything.”
Sosa, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were denied entry to the Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility amid suspicions their accomplishments were boosted by performance-enhancing drugs. McGwire, 10th on the career home run list, received 16.9 percent of the vote on his seventh try, far short of the 75 percent needed for election.
Sosa, who finished with 609 home runs and ranks eighth on the all-time chart, received 12.5 percent of the vote. He was among those who tested positive in Major League Baseball’s 2003 anonymous survey, The New York Times reported in 2009. He told a congressional committee in 2005 that he never took illegal performance-enhancing drugs.
Meanwhile, Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said at the team’s fan convention last weekend that the club might try to re-establish a relationship with Sosa, who left on bad terms following the 2004 season. The organization had different ownership and management back then.
Sosa said he was aware of Ricketts’ comments.
“They know where I am,” he said. “If they want to find me, they have to call me. I’m always available.”
Would he run for president of the Dominican Republic?
“You never know,” Sosa said.
In his first at-bat with the Las Aguilas Eagles of the Dominican League on Wednesday night, the 40-year-old Manny Ramirez blasted a home run over the right field wall in front of an estimated 22,000 fans.
Former All-Star pitcher and current ESPN analyst Rick Sutcliffe doesn’t think that a 50-game suspension is harsh enough for San Francisco Giants Melky Cabrera.
Just days after Major League Baseball hit the Giants outfielder with a 50-game ban for testing positive for synthetic testosterone, Sutcliffe suggested a far more aggressive punishment during an appearance on Dave Rothenberg’s ESPN radio show.
Sutcliffe believes Cabrera, a 28-year-old from the Dominican Republic, should have his visa revoked.
“First of all, this guy is over here in the United States on a working visa. He broke the law. What’s he doing still here? I mean, forget the 50-game suspension from baseball and whether he can come back if they make the players [sic] or not. Why’s he still here? That visa should be taken away, and he should not be allowed to play over here again, or work over here again, in my opinion.”
While there may be no action taken by MLB that satisfies Sutcliffe, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports that Cabrera could still be subject to additional punishment due to his attempt to avoid the suspension, including a fake website.
The Department of Justice and MLB are undertaking a joint investigation into the source of the testosterone used by Cabrera.
Roberto Hernandez reintroduced himself to Cleveland Indians teammates and apologized for deceiving them. The right-hander, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, was contrite and remorseful Sunday as he confessed to the entire organization and its fans that he pretended to be somebody he was not for the past 12 years. Hernandez is serving a three-week suspension for using a false identity and will not be reinstated until August 11.
“I want to say I’m sorry,” Hernandez said through interpreter Charisse Dash. “I thank God I am here and have been given a new chance.”
Hernandez said he was grateful to the organization for supporting him after he was arrested in the Dominican Republic in January outside the U.S. consulate as he tried to renew his visa. That’s when it was discovered his name was Hernandez and he is 31 years old, three years older than listed.
The former All-Star revealed that the real Carmona is actually a “distant cousin,” but that it was Hernandez who hatched the plan to take his name and claim he was only 17 when he signed with the Indians in 2000. He declined to discuss details. ”I want to forget the past,” he said. “I want to work hard and help my team on the field.”
Hernandez got his old locker in the clubhouse and laughed when he looked up and saw, “No Name.” His teammates also gave him three birthday cakes, one for each birthday he missed.
Major League Baseball has approved the $4.5 million contract of Texas Rangers prospect Jairo Beras, but suspended the Dominican teenager a year for providing a false date of birth when registering with MLB as a prospect.
The investigation over his age began in February when the Rangers signed Beras, whom the club maintained was 17. Had Beras been 16 years old, he would have been ineligible to sign until July 2, when the international signing period began, and recieved a far less bonus. According to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, he would have fallen under the cap of $2.9 million.
Initially, Beras had told teams he was 16, thus ineligible. He later produced documents to MLB saying he was 17.
“As we’ve said all along, the contract was signed within the rules with the correct age,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. “It does point out that Major League Baseball is placing an increased emphasis on cleaning up this area of our industry, trying to eliminate fraud, which is something that we’re very supportive of and want to be a part of.”
According to MLB, Beras will be permitted to participate in workouts and practices during his suspension, but will not be permitted to participate in official games. Beras will not receive his salary under his Minor League contract for the duration of his suspension.
Earlier this year, Miami Marlins reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo (formerly Leo Nunez) and Cleveland Indians pitcher Roberto Hernandez (Fausto Carmona) were caught using false birth certificates and identities.
“Charlie was not in good form when we saw him,” Calipari said, per FIBA.com. “He was overweight, and unfortunately, we could not slow down the entire team and it was a decision taken collectively.
“Last year, Charlie behaved really well with us and his only problem was his weight. An NBA player like him deserves respect and for respect, we have (made) this decision.”
Villanueva played in just 13 games for the Detroit Pistons this past season, averaging career lows in minutes (13.8), points (7.0) and rebounds (3.7).
Calipari led the Dominican team to a bronze medal at last summer’s FIBA Americas Championship.
Even without Villanueva, Calipari likes the Dominican Republic’s chances to earn one of the three remaining spots in the Olympic tournament at the 12-team FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Caracas.
“We have the athleticism to play against anyone,” Calipari said.
Former MLB all-star Vladimir Guerrero has run afoul of the law in the Dominican Republic. Per Dominican Today, there was an all-points bulletin issued for Guerrero on Tuesday due to an assault against a police officer and his involvement in a brawl at a nightclub.
A native of the Dominican Republic, the 37-year-old Guerrero is currently a free agent after spending the 2011 season with Baltimore Orioles. Guerrero is in police custody in Bani before being in custody he told the Associated Press that he was not part of the attack on the police officer:
”At no time did I attack anyone, nor was I fleeing,” Guerrero told The Associated Press. ”I presented myself at the jail last night after the complaint from the disco, and this morning first thing I went to the police that are handling the case.”
Minor League Guy is actually Oscar Taveras, the second ranked prospect in the entire St. Louis Cardinals organization. Taveras, at just 19 years old, won the Midwest League batting title last year at Quad Cities with a healthy .386 average. In fact, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch recently profiled him as a player who will sell tickets in the future:
Taveras, a native of Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, signed with the Cardinals as a teenage free agent for $145,000 in 2008. He made his debut domestically in 2010, and later that year hit .322 for rookie-level Johnson City. That striking ability to hit is what the Cardinals saw when he first tried out for them at 16.
But with all that the Cardinals broadcast team failed to identify him.
Los Angeles Dodgers legend Tommy Lasorda is forever immortalized with a bronze statue depicting the Hall of Famer, which was unveiled in the Dominican Republic, the team announced.
The statue stands at the ‘Paseo de los Immortales’ in La Romana. Lasorda, 84, serves as Special Advisor to the Chairman of the Dodgers and has worked for the team for six decades.
Lasorda has longstanding ties to Latin America as he spent three seasons in the Dominican Republic.
He is a founding member of the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame and serves as their Goodwill Ambassador, according to the team.
Florida Marlins closer Leo Nunez was placed on the the restricted list and suspended him for the rest of the season after the team became aware of the fact that he had been playing under an assumed name and the incorrect age. Nunez’s, who’s real name is Juan Carlos Oviedo and he’s 29, a year older than listed in the team media guide, prompted his to return to his native Dominican Republic yesterday.
Nunez had pitched recently as Wednesday against the Atlanta Braves and has 36 saves on the season while carrying a 4.06 ERA in 68 games. The right-hander has an effective changeup and a fastball that reaches 97 mph, and in three seasons with Florida he has 92 saves.
Nunez will be entering in his final year of arbitration after this season and was expected to make about $6 million in 2012.
Major League Baseball has rejected Manny Ramirez’s bid to play winter ball in the Dominican Republic because he’s on the inactive list after abruptly retiring instead of facing a 100-game suspension in April after violating Major League Baseball’s drug policy for the second time.
“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,” Rob Manfred, MLB executive vice president of labor relations said.
After learning of MLB’s ruling Ramirez told ESPNdeportes.com’s Enrique Rojas he plans to formally request reinstatement to the major leagues.
“I would comply with my pending sanction and I would be available for any major league team,” Ramirez told 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.”
Former Louisville star Edgar Sosa suffered this gruesome injury in the Dominican Republic’s 92-68 win Monday over Panama in the FIBA Americas tournament. The video maybe disturbing to some.
Bay Area radio host Tony Bruno posted a racist remark on his Twitter page after San Francisco Giants pitcher Ramon Ramirez hit Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino, sparking a bench-clearing altercation at AT&T Park.
Bruno tweeted, “gutless #!@%*# Giants. Bochy is a coward for having having his illegal alien pitcher hit a guy since mighty Frisco boys …”
Bruno quickly deleted the tweet and posted an apology on his Facebook page:
“I did remove my post and apologize for my comments regarding illegal aliens. I was angry and on the air and I stand behind my comments that Bruce Bochy is a coward, as are all managers who order pitchers to throw at guys just because their pitchers can’t get a guy out. All of you people resorting to name calling are more classless and vile.”
Ramirez, a native of the Dominican Republic, hit Victorino in the sixth inning of Friday’s game with the Phillies holding an 8-2 lead over the Giants.
Major League Baseball is monitoring New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez after learning that his cousin, Yuri Sucart, again is traveling with the team on some road trips, the New York Daily News reports.
“We have been in contact with the Yankees about this matter,” Rob Manfred, MLB executive VP of labor relations, told the Daily News. “We are looking into it.”
Two years ago, Rodriguez admitted that Sucart had supplied him and injected him with performance-enhancing drugs. At that time, the Yankees banned Sucart from any team-related function or facility. The Daily News reports Sucart was spotted at the team’s hotel in San Francisco on Tuesday night, and a source told the newspaper that Sucart has traveled with Rodriguez occasionally this season and even last season.
During a press conference in the spring of 2009, Rodriguez admitted using steroids while a member of the Texas Rangers from 2001-03. He said Sucart would acquire the steroids from the Dominican Republic.
While Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer isn’t officially retired he will spend his time this season as an analyst for ESPN’s Baseball Tonight. At 48, Moyer hopes to pitch again in 2012 after having surgery in December to replace a ligament in his elbow that he suffered while pitching in the Dominican Winter Leagues. Moyer has 267 pitching wins over 24 MLB seasons.
Moyer says he has hasn’t exactly been planning on a TV career: “It’s been mentioned that I’d do well, blah, blah. And as a player, you never know when your last year will be. And I’m not convinced I’ve had my last day. Why just sit back this year and do nothing but rehab? Why not see how I like this business and this business likes me?”
I just may have to reconsider my viewership of ESPN’s Baseball Tonight with this addition.
Houston Texans defensive back Kareem Jackson, the team’s 2010 first-round pick, will probably be the next pro athlete targeted by PETA after posting pictures to his Twitter account of a cockfight he attended. On vacation in the Dominican Republic, Jackson attended two cockfights and then posted the pictures.
“My first time ever seeing chicken fight till the death it was crazy,” Jackson wrote on Twitter before later deleting the posts. “Look at all these people at these chicken fights: You would think it’s a college football game.”
Unlike in the U.S., cockfighting is legal in the Dominican Republic so Jackson has broken no law. But on the heels of the Philadelphia Eagles Michael Vick dog fighting conviction, it’s somewhat surprising that any NFL player would crow about being at a cockfight.
Baltimore Orioles reliever Alfredo Simon is the main suspect in a fatal shooting New Year’s Eve in the Dominican Republic, police said Sunday. The pitcher is suspected of killing 25-year-old Michel Castillo Almonte and wounding his 17-year-old brother during a celebration in the northeast coastal town of Luperon. Simon is from the Dominican Republic, and police said he fled after the violence.
Felipe Alou Jr, a Dominican representative for the Orioles, said he spoke with Simon on Saturday and the player said he was in the area when the violence occurred but insisted he was not involved in the shootings. Simon could face up to 30 years in prison if found guilty.
He went 4-2 with a 4.93 ERA last season. He had 17 saves before Orioles manager Buck Showalter decided to make Koji Uehara the closer.
Baltimore Orioles left-fielder Felix Pie, playing for the Estrellas Orientales in Dominican Winter League baseball, got picked off at first base because homeboy sat in his base path and that caused Pie who was called out to go haywire.
The 2010 Major League Baseball season just came to a close with the San Francisco Giants defeating the Texas Rangers 3-1 and to take the the series 4-1 in becoming the World Series champions. That doesn’t mean baseball though isn’t being played through out the rest of the world though, take Dominican Republic as they have just kicked off winter baseball.
That’s right winter baseball is under full effect and the Licey Tigers sure know how to do bring it to their players and fans with style. So much TALENT to see down in winter baseball.