Manny Ramirez, 48, hopeful for return in Taiwan

Manny Ramirez still misses stepping into the batter’s box and wants to return to professional baseball at age 48.

The former MLB superstar has his sights set on the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan, where he briefly played in 2013.

In an interview published Wednesday by the Taiwan Times, Ramirez told the newspaper that he hopes to land a roster spot this year in the CPBL.

The five-team CPBL has attracted worldwide attention in recent months as the first major professional baseball league to start its 2020 season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Ramirez told the Times that his return to the CPBL would further help the league, citing a boost in attendance during his 2013 debut season.

He said he has had offers to play in the independent Atlantic League but would prefer to play in Taiwan. The 12-time All-Star told the Times he is confident that he will eventually get the opportunity to play in the CPBL.

Ramirez appeared in 49 games with the CPBL’s EDL Rhinos in 2013 before leaving the club and returning to the U.S. He batted .352 with eight home runs and 43 RBIs.

He played 19 seasons in the major leagues and was named MVP of the 2004 World Series, when the Boston Red Sox won their first title since 1918. His last major league appearance was with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011.

Ramirez was suspended 50 games early in 2009 with the Los Angeles Dodgers after testing positive for a banned female fertility drug popular among steroid users. He retired in 2011 after testing positive for elevated testosterone.

The CPBL started its season April 11 but is barring spectators over concerns of spreading the coronavirus in a crowded space.

League officials delayed the season twice from its originally scheduled opening day on March 14 and only started competition after close consultation with the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Read Full Article