The Texas Rangers are giving former Red Sox and Chinese Baseball League player Manny Ramirez a second chance at the Major Leagues. The player, who had a controversial history in Major League Baseball (MLB), now professes to be a newly born again Christian. Ramirez returned to the States recently after having played on the Taiwanese EDA Rhinos, and will be evaluated for the Major Leagues while playing on the Rangers' Triple-A Round Rock team this season.
The 41-year-old Dominican-American stands 14th on the all-time home run list, having hit over 500 home runs during his career. Ramirez had a batting average of .312 and an on-base percentage of .411 before retiring from American baseball in April of 2011. The Texas Rangers are in need of a right-handed batter, and think Ramirez might be a good fit for their team.
Some have implied that signing Ramirez is risky; the player violated the MLB drug policy three times in his career, and was arrested for domestic battery in 2011. Recently, however, he helped to revitalize the Chinese Baseball League during his stint there, and professes to be a born-again Christian. Rangers manager Jon Daniels said Ramirez would have to "fit our winning culture here in Arlington and throughout our organization" to play for the Rangers. The team will evaluate Ramirez's talent and character before making a decision to pull him up to the Major League.
The Rangers' hitting coach Dave Magadan says that Ramirez's faith is a big part of his life, and has hope that he will change for the better. The player plans to donate his Triple-A salary to charity.