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Chicago Cubs: Manny Ramirez leaves Cubs to make his return in Japan

Mar 16, 2015; Peoria, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs hitting coach Manny Ramirez looks on against the San Diego Padres at Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 16, 2015; Peoria, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs hitting coach Manny Ramirez looks on against the San Diego Padres at Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chicago Cubs’ President Theo Epstein has reached out to former players to join the organization. Filling in as front-office helpers or working hands-on with younger talent, opportunities presented themselves.

For instance, the Chicago Cubs brought back Ryne Sandberg, Ted Lilly, Ryan Dempster, Kerry Wood, welcomed Kevin Youkilis, and Manny Ramirez. I apologize if I missed a few names, just so many former players have been involved.

However, one of the men listed above has decided to take another crack at professional baseball. And based on the title of this article, you already know it’s Manny Ramirez. The former long-time Boston Red Sox outfielder is giving it another go.

According to FOX Sports, Ramirez is attempting to make a comeback, only this time with the Kochi Fighting Dogs of Japan.

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Manny isn’t the only Cub who has jumped ship from the United States to Japan. Outfielder Matt Murton and first baseman Bryan LaHair both spent time in Japan. Murton becoming the most successful between the two.

Now, back to Ramirez. The two-time World Series champion last played in the Majors as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays under Joe Maddon and Dave Martinez. His production declined by the year.

No Surprise

The fact that Manny has decided to start playing baseball should not come as a surprise. This man has been highly successful throughout his career, launching a total of 555 home runs, 2,574 hits, 1,831 RBI with a career .312 average.

On May 25, 2014, Ramirez signed a minor league deal with the Cubs, eventually serving as both a player and coach. Younger guys such as Starlin Castro, Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, and a few others have grown fond of Manny as he took them under his wing.

Despite coming off as someone with a massive ego, Ramirez has proven to be a worthy mentor, which is great. The 44-year-old veteran will turn 45 during the 2017 season and could likely retire at the end of the year.

Next: Baez continued to show potential in 2016

Who knows, Manny may end up wanting to play well into his 50’s. Either way, I’m sure the door will always be open for Ramirez if he wishes to retain his coaching job with the Cubs in the future.

Epstein isn’t the type of person who will cast someone out. Unless they have done something really stupid along the way. So, best of luck to Manny Ramirez and his run with the Fighting Dogs in 2017.

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