While major league and minor league players go through spring training drills and games in Arizona and Florida, Ramirez is spending his spring in a community park in the area of Hialeah in Miami training.
The 41-year-old former Red Sox slugger, who had minor league deals with the Athletics and the Rangers during the past two years, does not have a team, and has not played a major league game since he was served a second suspension for violating the league’s anti-doping policy in 2011. Ramirez requested a release from his contracts with Oakland and Texas when the teams did not call him up to the majors.
Despite this, Ramirez, who had 555 home runs in 19 seasons, still believes he has something major league teams can use.
“For now, I have no team interested, but I’m still working. Maybe I don’t have anything this week, but who knows? Maybe next week I could get a call.”
The veteran outfielder shares his training headquarters with Miguel Tejada.
Ramirez hit .352 with eight home runs and 43 RBIs in 49 games for the EDA Rhinos in Taiwan last season — a performance that led to his contract with the Rangers. When he joined Texas’ Triple-A affiliate, the Round Rock Express, he hit just .259 with three home runs and 13 RBIs in 30 games before he asked to be released from his contract in August.
“Three weeks ago, I received a call from Taiwan to check if I wanted to return there, but I feel I can still help in MLB, in a role similar to Jason Giambi in Cleveland, for example,” Ramirez said. “If it is God’s will, I could play in MLB this season. I just need a team to open the doors. I can help in the field and in the clubhouse for the younger guys.”
Ramirez said he is not trying to make a comeback to earn more money and also denied that teams are attempting to keep him out of the majors.
“I can’t say that there’s anything against me because the Lord is the only one who reads the hearts of people,” Ramirez said. “But one thing I can say: For an MLB team, it would be a blessing to have players like me and Miguel Tejada, only by our experience. But you never now what they are thinking.”
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane. Today they discussed the ongoing controversy surrounding the Oscars and Andrew Garfield.
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FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Nets at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Grizzlies at Bulls, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Pacers at Rockets, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN) College basketball: Houston at UCF, 7 p.m. (CBSSN) College basketball: Kent State at Akron, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College hockey: Hockey East tournament, UMass at Vermont, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College hockey: St. Cloud State at Colorado, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
MLB preseason: Rays at Blue Jays, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
AROUND THE WEB:
– There has been concern in college basketball circles about fans storming the court after games and the safety issues it creates, especially after last week’s confrontation in Orem, Utah, when angry players from New Mexico State got into a confrontation with a postgame mob from Utah Valley.
On Thursday night, the issue was with just one fan, a student who ran onto the court at UC Santa Barbara and confronted Hawaii coach Gib Arnold just after Arnold received a technical foul for arguing with the referees.
The fan was pushed away by a couple of Hawaii players, and he backpedaled off the court as he gestured toward the players to come after him. He then returned to the student section but eventually was escorted out of the stands.
“It was a little crazy to have a fan pushing your players around,” Arnold said in a postgame TV interview. “I’ve never seen it. You don’t expect it.”
“The student will obviously face legal action,” Santa Barbara athletic department spokesman Bill Mahoney said. “He will also be subject to action from a judicial review board through UCSB student affairs.”
– South Carolina basketball coach Frank Martin was suspended one game by the school for cursing out one of his player’s during a 72-46 loss to Florida on Tuesday.
Martin, well known for losing his temper, was caught on camera asking Duane Notice a question and then, when Notice did not respond, appearing to scream in his face, “Answer the [expletive] question, [expletive],” and then going on to berate him with more swears.
“This one-game suspension is a result of inappropriate verbal communication as it related to the well-being of our student-athletes,” athletic director Ray Tanner said in a statement.
Earlier this season, Martin, who was a Northeastern assistant in the early 2000s, apologized for berating another South Carolina player.
“I got after [Brenton Williams] pretty darned good on the sideline in the first half, and I visited with him about it and apologized to him.” Martin said on Jan. 21. “And I do want to apologize to any fans that were behind the bench that maybe heard what was said. I was wrong for that, and there’s no excuse for it.”
Scott Weitzell, who was the team’s part-time director of operations, was arrested on Feb. 21 after failing to cooperate with authorities who tried to seize his cell phone. The 50-year-old was charged with attempting to falsify physical evidence and resisting arrest or detention, according to a report in the New Hampshire Union Leader.
He was suspended by UNH the same day and banned from campus to “remove the risk that Mr. Weitzell posted to the privacy of our students.” Weitzell was fired four days later.
According to the report, police have since obtained additional search warrants and have seized “more materials” that are being reviewed.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 7, 1995, which Celtic became the ninth NBA player to record 25,000 career points when he netted 19 during a 115-10 loss to the Knicks?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I think we’re starting to see the smart player that we all talked about at the beginning of the year, both ways. He makes smart plays and he also defends well. He’s been a really god player, and I just saw him starting to find his game before the Olympic break. I saw him play well at the Olympics, and it’s followed up here since he’s been back.” – Bruins coach Claude Julien on Loui Eriksson following Thursday’s 3-0 victory over the Capitals
‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Angels star Mike Trout just misses an inside-the-park home run in Thursday’s game against the Dodgers.
ESPN analyst Bill Walton gets emotional when talking about Washington walk-on Connor Smith, who overcame medical issues to join the basketball team.
Dunk specialist Kenny Dobbs leaps over a man who is on fire and throws a flaming basketball through the net, burning it up in the process.
In the first round of the MAAC tournament, Saint Peter’s guard Desi Washington hits a game-winning 3-pointer with one second left in overtime against Fairfield. It was Washington’s third game-winning shot against Fairfield this season. Here are all three, starting with Thursday’s.
Mikey and Ryder talk with Hall of Fame baseball player and current analyst/broadcaster Dennis Eckersley. Eck gives all kinds of insight into the Red Sox current pitching staff and how valuable a reliable bullpen can be. He also talks about how the game has changed since his playing days.