Taiwan Welcomes Manny Ramirez
Manny Ramirez has officially signed with the EDA Rhinos of Taiwan’s professional baseball league, which consists of four teams. The former Red Sox slugger, who’s 40 years old, will make a paltry—at least by his standards—$25,000 a month. If you haven’t watched his introductory press conference, you really should. It’s fantastic.
“Hi everybody, I love Kaohsiung!” Manny shouts early in the clip, name-checking the city he’ll be playing in this season. Behind the table where he sits, there’s a billboard-sized video screen featuring a giant photo of his face. His name is up there, too, in yellow and purple letters. At one point, he’s presented with a cuddly stuffed rhino and what looks like a giant novelty VIP card. The massive VIP card features a cartoon rhino with dreadlocks. Just like Manny!
“I always wanted to come and play here, and play in Asia,” Ramirez says, presumably lying. “For me, it’s a big opportunity just to come and share my experience with my young teammates and try to make them better.” (That second part may be true.)
There’s still something strangely hypnotic about Ramirez, whose last at-bat in the majors was back in 2011. At one point in the video (about 1:10), he’s presented a ceremonial bat, with which he promptly unleashes a few left-handed practice swings. Ramirez, of course, is a righty.