Manny Ramirez's contract in Japan is a sweet, sushi-filled deal

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Liz Roscher
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Chicago Cubs hitting consultant Manny Ramirez laughs as he watches practice before a baseball game between the Miami Marlins and the Chicago Cubs, Monday, June 1, 2015, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Manny Ramirez in 2015, loving life just like in the present day. (AP Photo)

Do you ever take a second or two out of your day and think about Manny Ramirez? You’re just sitting in your office or at home or in your car, and you think to yourself “Gee, I wonder if Manny is practicing baseball right now, and I wonder what he’s eating.”

If you’ve ever wondered that (okay, you probably haven’t), there are now answers to those questions. No, he’s probably not practicing. And what he’s eating is probably sushi.

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How do we know? The Boston Globe discovered a translated report of a news conference Manny gave with his new team in Japan, the independent league Kochi Island Fighting Dogs. The report is on, and the details are glorious.

Let’s start with the most fun/weird detail of them all. While Manny is with the Kochi Island Fighting Dogs, he gets unlimited sushi. Unlimited! If Manny wants to throw back four dragon rolls and 18 pieces of salmon sashimi, he can do that. He’d probably get sick from eating all that sushi in one sitting, but he could do that. Another detail? For 44-year-old Manny Ramirez, practices are optional. Even the translator seemed surprised about that. The exact quote from the translation: “Practices are apparently optional.”

There are more perks beyond all-he-can-eat sushi and optional practices. For his automotive needs, he’ll have use of a Mercedes, with a team employee to drive him around. And as for his living arrangements? He’s staying in a hotel suite that costs 80,000 yen a night. With the exchange rate, that’s nearly $700 a night.

Manny will be wearing the No. 99 jersey, with “Manny” emblazoned above the number. According to the translated news conference report, he didn’t want to choose Ramirez since he was worried that people would confuse him with Alex Ramirez, who played in Japan for more than a decade. As for why he’d want to keep playing at 44, Manny was happy to answer. He’s playing because he’s still passionate about the game. Playing in Japan was one of his dreams, and he’s eager to show fans what he’s still capable of.

The news conference also revealed some very specific details about Manny’s life in Japan. Like what he had for lunch that day. He had udon noodles, a rice ball, and teppanyaki (grilled) chicken. What, no sushi?! Even with unlimited sushi, I guess you can’t eat it for every meal.

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on twitter! Follow @lizroscher