This backs up a previous report of Manny planning to play Dominican winter baseball, in which he said: "Now I'm getting ready to defend the 21st crown of the Aguilas (Eagles)."
The Dominican Baseball Guy can hardly contain himself with thoughts of this becoming a reality. If he does decide to play, the stadiums will be filled for all of his games, and the Dominican Baseball Guy will be there to see the craziness. The Dominican stadiums get packed for even marginal stars, so if Manny plays it will be a true spectacle...think playoff like atmosphere for every game.
Ramirez says he wants to motivate other big league stars to play. If all the big league Dominican players returned home to play winter ball each year it could even push the Dominican league (LIDOM) to be on par with the NIPON Japanese baseball league, which is widely considered the second best league in the world. Then if they could get some American stars to join them, well it could theoretically be on par with MLB, considering the LIDOM only has six teams to fill.
But alas, this is a pipe dream. The likelihood of a bunch of big league stars following Manny to the LIDOM is small. There is one major hold up, and that is the MONEY. The players make a pittance in the LIDOM, not even reported usually, but it cannot be more than minor league deals. So, until the Dominican economy grows greatly and is able to support teams that can afford to pay millions of dollars to players, we are doubtful to see any major stars in their prime.
Manny is going to play because he has no choice: he faces a 100 game suspension for a failed drug test if he returns to MLB.
Manny is from Santo Domingo and spent 18 years in the big leagues.
|Manny Ramirez runs the bases with the Red Sox, by Keith Allison on Flickr|