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Big League Stew

Manny Ramirez drug tested already

David Brown
Big League Stew

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(USA Today)

No word yet if he passed, but Texas Rangers minor league slugger Manny Ramirez was tested for drugs — randomly — earlier this week. Mmm, hmm. Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that everyone not on the 40-man major-league roster who plays for Class AAA Round Rock was made to give a urine sample. Manny complied and has complied in whatever way he has been asked so far:

Included in the group was Ramirez, who twice has failed tests for performance-enhancing drugs.

General manager Jon Daniels declined to comment on the timing of the test, but said that the word from Round Rock indicates that Ramirez, 41, has been a model citizen after signing a minor-league contract last week with no guarantees of getting a promotion to the Rangers' roster.

"The reports have all been very positive," Daniels said. "The guys say he's been in the cage early and often, and generally has been a good influence."

Ramirez, who has shorn his hair to comply with the Rangers’ minor-league code of conduct, was batting .250 (3 for 12) entering a game Thursday at Omaha. He homered and drove in three runs Tuesday.

Being a two-time offender, Ramirez has earned the drug-testing scrutiny, so even if this is "random," it's to be expected. There will be more tests, and Ramirez will need to pass all of them if he's to get another shot at the majors with the Rangers, or anyone else. Now, just because he passes drug tests, it doesn't mean they'll necessarily promote Ramirez. He still has to hit. And that's also something to be determined.

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