Manny Ramirez said Tuesday he is ‘‘starting a new beginning’’ after signing a short-term contract to play with the EDA Rhinos in Taiwan’s professional baseball league.
The Rhinos said the 40-year-old will earn $25,000 a month to appear with the team during this year’s March-November season.
Speaking at a news conference in the Rhinos home town of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan, Ramirez said he felt ‘‘blessed’’ about the opportunity to play in Taiwan
Ramirez’s arrival in Taiwan is the latest stop in a career that has seen him morph from a promising hitter in the Cleveland organization to a star with the Red Sox and a huge attraction with the Dodgers and the White Sox.
His last major league appearance was with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011, where he went 1 for 17 before retiring in April after testing positive for elevated testosterone. Ramirez decided after the season to attempt a comeback. He served a 50-game suspension for his 2011 positive drug test before returning with Oakland’s Triple-A affliliate, Sacramento. Ramirez hitting .302 with 14 RBIs in 17 games but asked in June to be released.
Ramirez was suspended for 50 games in May 2009 while with the Dodgers after testing positive for a banned female fertility drug popular among steroid users because it can mask the effects of ending a cycle.
Cruz lifts DR in WBC
Nelson Cruz’s two-out, RBI single broke a seventh-inning tie, and the Dominicans overcame an early four-run deficit to beat Italy, 5-4, in Miami. Robinson Cano had three hits, including his second home run in the World Baseball Classic. The Dominicans (4-0) advanced to a winner's-bracket game Thursday night in the double-elimination second round. Framingham native Chris Colabello hit a three-run homer to give Italy a 4-0 lead in the first inning . . . Shinnosuke Abe homered twice in an eight-run second inning and two-time defending champion Japan beat the Netherlands, 10-6, to win its second-round group in the WBC. Both nations already had clinched berths in the semifinals at San Francisco on March 17-18. Red Sox prospect Xander Bogaerts went 2-3 with an RBI for the Netherlands.
Jeter to play in the field
Derek Jeter said he will play at shortstop Wednesday night when the Yankees host the Philadelphia Phillies. It’s the first time Jeter will play in the field since ankle surgery last fall. Jeter has appeared in two games as the designated hitter. The game also marks the spring training debut for Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte . . . Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis has been diagnosed with a small herniated disk in his neck and will be out about another week . . . Rays manager Joe Maddon announced that AL Cy Young Award winner David Price will be Opening Day starter against Baltimore . . . The Miami New Times has rejected a request from Major League Baseball for records that the alternative newspaper obtained for a story that alleges several players received performance-enhancing drugs from a now-closed anti-aging clinic. New Times editor Chuck Strouse cited journalistic ethics and the fact that the newspaper has already posted dozens of records on its website.
Cespedes rejoins A’s
Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has rejoined Oakland after briefly leaving spring training to be reunited with his family for the first time in about a year. Cespedes surprised family members in Miami after they arrived over the weekend from the Turks and Caicos, where they had been detained as illegal immigrants. The relatives, including Cespedes’s mother, Estela Milanes, were released Jan. 21. . . . The dilemma of the Houston Astrodome remained unresolved with the passing of a deadline to put a bond referendum before voters in May. Harris County commissioners took no action on the ballot initiative to raise millions of dollars for the stadium, which has been unfit for occupancy since 2009.