December 04, 2011
After being drug tested into retirement last April, the 39-year-old slugger is planning a comeback and wants to sign with a team for the 2012 season.
The news was first reported by Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports on Sunday afternoon:
Ramirez, 39, has hired Barry Praver and Scott Shapiro as his agents and has applied for reinstatement from MLB's voluntary retired list, a source said. [...]
If a club signs him, Ramirez will be eligible to play after a 50-game suspension -- down from his original 100-game ban, under baseball's drug testing program, MLB said.
Ramirez retired during the first week of the 2011 season after testing positive for a banned substance for the second time of his career. The test called for a suspension of 100 games, but Ramirez opted to retire from the Tampa Bay Rays instead. SI's Jon Heyman reports that Ramirez would only have to sit out the first 50 games of this season, citing the league's "sympathy."
Of course, as Tiki Barber taught us this summer, it takes more than just one athlete to complete a comeback. There has to be a team willing to sign that athlete and while Ramirez presumably has more left in the tank than Barber did, it remains to be seen which team would want to deal with the circus that would come with a midseason return from Ramirez. Some runs-starved team will probably feel compelled to take the gamble, but here's guessing that Manny won't be headed anywhere before that suspension time is served.
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