Manny Ramirez has finished his time playing for the EDA Rhinos of the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan. His contract was set to expire on June 30th, but he is reportedly leaving the country on June 21st after officially being removed from the Rhinos roster.
Homesickness has been cited as a reason for his early departure, but money is more likely the reason. He was making approximately $25,000 USD per month for the Rhinos and they have been trying to entice him to stay for the remainder of the season, including giving him a raise in April.
He was playing extremely well in Taiwan, batting .352 with a .422 OBP while slugging .555 with 8 HRs and 43 RBIs in 49 games. He was playing so well that he has drawn interest from the Chiba Lotte Marines of the Pacific League in Japan. He could earn significantly more money playing in Japan and that is most likely the true motive for not staying in Taiwan. He had signed an agreement that allowed him to break his contract with the Rhinos to sign with another team, as long as that team was located outside of Taiwan.
He was beloved in Taiwan and by many accounts he was great for baseball there, but if he still dreams of making it back to the MLB moving on to Japan is the right career move. The Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan only has four teams and the talent level isn’t on par with that of Japan.
The sports world will miss Manny in Taiwan, producing classic bilingual home-run calls such as this:
Manny will always continue to be Manny. I wish him the best of luck for the rest of his career.
[Photo Credit – Boston.com]