Australian team cuts ties with ex-Sox star Manny Ramirez originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The 48-year-old Manny Ramirez is a free agent once again.
The Sydney Blue Sox of the Australian Baseball League released Ramirez over the weekend, the team's owner confirmed to the Sydney Morning Herald.
There's a bit of controversy over why Ramirez was released. The former Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox star signed with Sydney last August but had yet to appear in either of the Blue Sox' two games and was ruled out of the team's season opener in December with an oblique injury.
According to the Herald, the nature of Ramirez's injury was in dispute, especially after the club released a statement claiming Ramirez was unavailable "'due to ongoing sensitive and confidential medical reasons."
Some wondered whether Ramirez had been sidelined for using a banned substance, but the 12-time All-Star denied those rumors and claimed it was the oblique injury that led to his release.
"If it was something drug-related, you think it would not have come out, and [stories about], 'This guy tests positive for this and that?','' Ramirez said, via the Herald.
"I just got released from the team because I got injured and I can't participate in the games. Like everybody, your emotions get down [when you're released], but you've got to move on.''
Ramirez has had a winding baseball journey since his last major league in 2011 that has included stops in the Dominican Republic, Japan and Australia. Might Manny's playing days finally be over after his release from the Blue Sox? We wouldn't bet against him.