January 12, 2012
MLB notes: Ramirez wants to do 'right thing' and return
By QMI Agency
Manny Ramirez says he is a changed man and wants to atone for retiring abruptly last year rather than serve a 100-game drug suspension.
The 39-year-old outfielder is seeking a tryout with a major-league team after applying to MLB for reinstatement and having his ban shortened to 50 games.
"I want to show people that Manny can change, that he can do the right thing," Ramirez told ESPN on Thursday. "And to show people that I still can play. I don't want to leave the game like I did. I also want to show my kids that if you make a mistake, don't quit. Just go back and fix it. And if you're going to leave, leave the right way."
Ramirez is a career .312 hitter, with 555 home runs and 1,831 RBI in 18 seasons. He had one hit in 17 at-bats with the Tampa Bay Rays last season before quitting.
CESPEDES SET TO PLAY
Yoenis Cespedes, a Cuban defector who is applying for residency in the Dominican Republic so he can play in the majors, has been declared eligible to play in the Dominican Winter League, MLB.com said Thursday.
Cespedes was scheduled to make his debut Thursday for Aguilas Cibaenas.
The 26-year-old outfielder cannot become an MLB free agent until he establishes residency. In the meantime, scouts can only watch and evaluate.
Several teams, including the Miami Marlins, have shown interest in Cespedes, who is expected to get a deal worth about $8 million a season.
RAYS GET HITTER
Free agent Luke Scott signed a one-year, $5-million deal Thursday with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Scott, 33, likely will be the team's designated hitter and get some playing time at first base.
Scott's deal includes incentives based on plate appearances, as well as a $6-million option for 2013.
Scott hit .220 with nine home runs and 22 RBI in 64 games last year with the Baltimore Orioles before surgery on his right shoulder ended his season in July.
BUD'S IN CHARGE THROUGH 2014
Bud Selig will remain Major League Baseball's commissioner through 2014, beyond his 80th birthday.
Owners voted Thursday to extend his contract, which was to expire Dec. 31, 2012.
"It is an honour to be asked to continue to serve the game of baseball, and I thank the clubs for their confidence in the direction in which we have taken the game," Selig said in a statement.
Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is expected to meet with Chicago police this week about a sexual assault accusation. Castro has been accused of sexual assaulting a woman last fall, though no charges have been filed ... Former Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson will not report to spring training for the Colorado Rockies, and instead will pursue a professional football career. Wilson, drafted in the fourth round in 2010, played in parts of two seasons at single-A, hitting .229 with five homers, 29 RBI and 19 stolen bases in 93 games ... Right-hander Ryan Vogelsong has signed a two-year contract worth about $8.3 million with the San Francisco Giants. The 34-year-old was one of the team's most reliable starters in 2011, going 13-7 with a 2.71 earned-run average ... The Milwaukee Brewers have avoided arbitration with left-hander Manny Parra, signing him to a one-year contract for the same $1.2-million salary he had last season when he was sidelined by injuries ... The Cleveland Indians have signed right-handed relief pitcher Chris Ray to a minor-league contract, with an invitation to spring training. After a poor start last season with the Seattle Mariners, Ray, 30, had a 2.13 ERA in his final 21 outings before suffering a shoulder injury.