Everybody has been waiting four months for this day to arrive: The date that Manny Ramirez is eligible to rejoin a major league ballclub.
Last December, Ramirez hinted that he was interested in un-retiring from baseball, following a seven-month absence in light of his positive drug test result during May of 2011, while he was playing for the Tampa Bay Rays.
This past February, Ramirez agreed to a minor league deal with the Oakland Athletics, allowing the beleaguered slugger to attempt to add to his 555 career home runs, pending his service of a 50-game suspension to start the 2012 season.
Fifty games later, and here we are, about to embark on Manny Being Manny: The Summer in Oakland.
Ramirez becomes eligible to play in the big leagues on Wednesday, May 30th—which happens to be his 40th birthday. But as CSNBayArea.com reports, Ramirez will not be activated for the Athletics’ game that day versus the Minnesota Twins.
There are several reasons why he will remain with the A’s Triple-A team, not the least of which is essentially to get his timing down. After all, he has only appeared in eight minor league games, after several weeks working out with the Athletics’ extended spring training squad.
From an individual standpoint, Ramirez simply wants to get himself into perfect major league conditioning—health-wise and hitting-wise. “The more I play, the better I get,” he said to CSN Bay Area.
From the team’s standpoint, however, there are several other factors for keeping Ramirez back for a little while. Specifically, Oakland has quite a few roster and lineup decisions to make as a result of Ramirez’s impending call-up. Who will be moved down for Ramirez? How will the 25-man roster be altered?
Let’s take a look at some questions the A’s will have to answer when Ramirez joins the team—whenever that may be.