Manny Ramirez released by Texas Rangers — is this the end for the infamous slugger?

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

We've got bad news for any diehard Manny Ramirez fans who thought Nelson Cruz's suspension might open the door for the Texas Rangers to give Manny another shot at the big leagues.

It's not going to happen.

The Rangers released Ramirez on Tuesday, ending a five-week minor-league stint that may have been Manny's last shot at catching on again in Major League Baseball. He hit .259 in 30 games with the Round Rock Express of the Pacific Coast League, with three homers and 13 RBIs.

Ranger GM Jon Daniels told Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

"Based on our evaluation there was not a spot for Manny on the club at this time," general manager Jon Daniels said. "We released him so he could pursue other opportunities."

When the Rangers signed Ramirez, 41, in July, Daniels called it a "no-risk flyer" from a ballclub not averse to giving players a second chance. Manny looked to have some fun — dressing like your grandma at the airport — but ultimately didn't prove valuable enough for the Rangers, who just acquired Alex Rios to shore up their outfield.

Before getting the minor-league deal with the Rangers, Manny played in Taiwan and achieved full sideshow status, but also managed to hit .352 with eight homers and 43 RBIs in 49 games. Afterward, he said he wanted to play again in MLB.

Now the question is, will Manny call it a career? Try his luck outside of America again? Or cross his fingers that another MLB team, desperate for a bat, might give him a chance? For reasons too numerous to count, we'll hope that Manny signs with the Yankees.

If it is the end for Ramirez, however, he'll leave MLB a 12-time All-Star and two-time World Series winner with 555 homers (14th all time) and a .312 batting average over 19 years. That sounds Hall of Fame-worthy on the surface, but with the lingering cloud of PEDs and Manny's sour reputation in baseball, Cooperstown isn't likely to be welcoming him anytime soon.

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