Johnny Manziel signs autographs for Mookie Betts, Red Sox prospects

Mike Petraglia
March 01, 2014 - 5:55 am

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel was a special guest of the Red Sox at their camp on Saturday. Manziel, a projected first-round quarterback pick in the upcoming NFL draft, works with Fenway Sports Management, the marketing arm of the Red Sox. LeBron James of the Miami Heat has a similar working arrangement with FSM. "Johnny Football" took time out Saturday to sign autographs for several Red Sox minor league prospects, including infielder Mookie Betts. Manziel was on hand for the organization's "Party in the Park" Friday night for special guests and several Red Sox players had a chance to meet him. A.J. Pierzynski met him when he played with the Texas Rangers and had a chance again to chat briefly with him. He believes Manziel will make a good NFL quarterback. "Obviously, he's a great player," said Pierzynski, who signed a letter of intent with Tennessee before signing with the Twins. "Me being an SEC guy, him being an SEC guy, I root for those guys. I know I liked watching him play and I liked the way he played because he was an amazing player and I'll think he'll do good if he's given the right opportunity. He should be a heckuva an NFL guy. Maybe he can come take over for Tom Brady. Ha, ha, ha. I'm joking, I'm joking. Joking." Manziel was wearing a No. 2 Red Sox jersey, the same number he made famous for two seasons at Texas A&M. He observed the Red Sox workout on Field 1 before the team left to travel across town for their game against the Twins. In late January, Fenway Sports Management announced they were adding Manziel to their clientele. FSM is partnering with LeBron James'€™ marketing company, LRMR Management, to represent the Heisman trophy winner jointly. '€œLeBron was an international sports icon and a global celebrity before we got involved,'€ said Mark Lev, managing director of Fenway Sports Management at the time of the signing. '€œJohnny needs to perform on the football field, and that'€™s really where the focus is now. But providing he does that, there'€™s huge upside for him from a business standpoint.'€ FSM will pursue off-field business opportunities in the media and entertainment industries for Manziel, along with endorsements. FSM will not be handling the quarterback's football contract negotiations and public relations once he is drafted in May. FSM now includes the Red Sox, Liverpool Football Club of the Barclays Premiere League, and Roush Fenway Racing.