Manny Ramirez likely to arrive at Iowa next weekContinue reading.
Iowa manager: Manny Ramirez to play ‘one, maybe two times a week’
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Yes, this is really going to happen.
Tonight, Manny Ramirez shall don a Cubs uniform. An Iowa Cubs uniform, more specifically, but still.
Tonight, Ramirez will start in left field in the second game of a Pacific Coast League doubleheader against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. He’ll bat sixth in the lineup, right behind prospect extraordinaire Kris Bryant, who along with fellow young stud Javier Baez might not be in Triple-A for long.
Tonight, the presence on the field of the 42-year-old Ramirez — part player, part coach — will be the latest loop-de-loop in the loopy history of the Cubs.
Cubs president Theo Epstein hopes Ramirez can do a lot for Bryant and Baez, and perhaps for outfielders Jorge Soler (Double-A Tennessee) and Albert Almora (Single-A Daytona) behind them. The “Core Four” of top prospects in this organization are rocking and rolling toward the big leagues with or without a man who hit 555 home runs in the big leagues and twice was publicly disgraced for violating Major League Baseball’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
“Like Theo said, he’s a coach first and a player second,” said Iowa manager Marty Pevey. “He’s here to help our young players make the transition from the minor leagues to the big leagues and to show them how hard he works, how well he works, which he does an unbelievable job.”
Less than two hours before Game 1, Ramirez — freshly reported for duty from the club’s training facility in Arizona — had his first meeting with Pevey and got the lowdown on how the Cubs plan to use him with Iowa.
“I’ve got bosses, too. I’ve talked to Theo. I’ve talked to [farm director] Jaron Madison. Manny is going to play one, maybe two times a week. He’ll be available off the bench. Other than that, like I said, he’s here to be a coach first and a player second.”