Ramirez to make Round Rock debut on Sunday

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


You know what they say: Everything is bigger in Texas.
Come Sunday, the attention on the Round Rock Express, the Texas Rangers' Triple-A affiliate, probably willl be bigger than they have ever seen.
Blame it on one man, or one Manny. Manny Ramirez arrived Friday in Austin, Texas, to prepare for his debut with the Express against the Omaha Storm Chasers.
The 41-year-old Ramirez will be in the lineup as the designated hitter. He had been playing for Taiwan's EDA Rhinos in the Chinese Professional Baseball League, where he batted .352 with eight home runs and had 43 RBIs.
"It's unbelievable man," Ramirez told the Austin American-Statesman. "First, I want to thank God for this opportunity. I never thought I was going to get another chance, but God is good and I am here."
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported Ramirez will earn $500,000 prorated at the big-league level and has agreed to cut his hair.
Ramirez said he will donate this year's salary to charity.
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels explained to the Dallas Morning News why the Rangers decided to sing Ramirez.
"It's a no-risk flyer in a lot of ways," Rangers GM Jon Daniels said. "Our history, we like giving guys second chances. We know on and off the field the good and bad of Manny's career, but we're inclined to give him an opportunity here.
"When it comes to playing for the Rangers, two things are important to us. You have to be talented and productive. And just as important, you have to fit our winning culture. Those are going to be the two tests we'll judge Manny by."
Ramirez has agreed to abide by all rules for Rangers minor league players and that includes trimming his dreadlocks.
Ramirez was last seen in a Tampa Bay Rays uniform in 2011. The Rangers signed him to a minor-league contract on Wednesday. He is a 12-time All-Star who has been suspended twice for using illegal substances.
Ramirez, who also was arrested on domestic battery charges in 2011, told the American-Statesman that sometimes bad things are blessings.
"They're good because they make you grow up and decide which way you have to go," he said. "The thing that I learned when I was in the storm, I learned how to listen and go pray to God and let him guide me."

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