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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Unlimited Sushi And The Gaijin Ball Player

A couple of months ago, I wrote about how a retired Major League Baseball player by the name of Manny Ramirez had been signed to play in one of those independent Japanese baseball leagues - not even the top-level stuff.

See HERE for the original story.

 In his MLB career, Ramirez had a .312 batting average; 555 home runs (15th most all-time); and 1,831 RBI (18th most all-time). His suspension for performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) has possibly tarnished his inclusion in Baseball’s hallowed Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY... maybe.

Despite the PED stuff, he was a heckuva ball player… so adding him to your Japanese baseball team seems like a no-brainer.  

The only real knock, is that Manny Ramirez will turn 45-years-old on May 30 of 2017.

To show you just how much they valued his diminished skill-set, in order to sign him—apparently a steady baseball salary and the creature comforts of Japan weren’t enough, the Kochi Fighting Dogs of Japan’s independent Shikoku Island League Plus sweetened the deal.

I can’t speak of all of the side-deals, because I don’t know them, but what we do know is that Ramirez gets:
  • a Mercedes-Benz car and a driver. Let's hope it's the nice kind of Benz;
  • attendance is optional for practices. Practice? We talkin' 'bout practice, to paraphrase Allan Iverson;
  • his own hotel suite during road trips. Seriously... every ball player on his team should be thankful they don't have to share a room with him. He snores. Actually, no idea if he does, but I bet he will smell of sushi.;
  • unlimited sushi all season long. I can't find fault for asking for this.

What stands out the most? Well, besides practice—they guy was a MLB star who has forgotten more about baseball than any of his teammates are ever likely to learn—I like that he has unlimited sushi all season long.

I’m going to assume that doesn’t mean free sushi for breakfast, lunch and dinner, rather that it implies there will always be a large plate of sushi options for him whenever he is in the team clubhouse.

I don’t know if Ramirez will share, but it could be the best way for him to ingratiate himself with his Japanese teammates.

I doubt that other foreign players going to play on the highest level of Japanese professional baseball teams would ever receive such a treat, because you can't treat anyone better than the rest of the team. 

But we are talking about a low-level team for Manny.

Unlimited sushi?

That’s just Manny being Manny.

Andrew Joseph

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