Manny's Return No Minor Event

June 22, 2009 - 10:58 am

"What a long, strange trip it's been." The Grateful Dead lyric is certainly apropos when talking about Manny Ramirez and his antics. This week, the big Manny Ramirez news has been his impending minor league rehab stint at Triple-A Albuquerque, which  starts Tuesday night. Looking at the Isotopes roster, there are a handful of players with major-league credentials, most notably outfielder Jason Repko, infielder Blake DeWitt, and knuckleballer Charlie Haeger. Isotopes fans certainly should be used to having a bona fide major league talent right in their midst. Isotopes fans are overflowing with excitement. Albuquerque Journal columnist Rick Wright isn't so excited for Manny's arrival to Isotopes Park. However, in an effort to combat all of the drama surrounding Manny's minor-league stint, Los Angeles Times blogger Jon Weisman makes the case that Ramirez needs and even deserves this minor league stint. This isn't a special case, as Weisman points out that another former Red Sox player found to have used PED's, J.C. Romero, also had a short minor-league rehab before making his return to the Phillies. While Ramirez' first stop in the minors occurred without incident (other than his extraordinary accomplishments on the field), according to Madison Taylor, his most recent trip to the minors was a memorable one. This is Manny's first return to the wonderful world of minor league baseball since a 2002 rehab stint in Pawtucket. That four-game rehab stint was infamously known for Manny losing a $15,000 earring while sliding headfirst into third base. According to accounts of the incident - including this compendium of infamous Manny Moments on boston.com - PawSox players and the Syracuse ground's crew spent ample time after the game looking for the jewelry in question, to no avail. Nonetheless, Ramirez seemed unbothered by the lost bling: in fact, he showed every sign of wanting to stay in Pawtucket beyond a seemingly interminable 11-game stint. For a complete look at Manny's minor and major league stats, check this out. Manny's rehab stint begins tomorrow as he dons Isotopes red before wearing Dodger Blue on July 3. Let's all just hope he doesn't lose more expensive jewelery while he's down in Triple-A this time.

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