Manny Ramirez Leaves Taiwan: Baseball-Mad World Suddenly Stops Spinning
Not only will Taiwanese fans be less exuberant, but YouTube will be filled with far less joy, because Manny Ramirez is leaving the Chinese Professional Baseball League.
Per the report, the former MLB superstar is scheduled to leave the country June 21, just shy of fulfilling his three-month contract. When you consider how successful Ramirez has been, you think he would stick things out and see where the EDA Rhinos tenure might take him.
Focus Taiwan has some thoughts on what his next step might be:
The Rhinos did not give a reason for Ramirez's departure, except to say that he was getting homesick, but Japanese and Taiwanese media are speculating that he is being pursued by the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball league.
Alas, there is hope we may soon have far more ecstatic home run calls and Manny-being-Manny moments, if only in a different uniform.
For now, I am left to ponder the strange road that has been far too short.
In March, we got our first taste of Ramirez playing in Taiwan, giving us a glimpse of the slugger who once belted home runs and stirred crowds and announcers.
Busted Coverage had these amazing images from that initial start, including a Ramirez sign with Johnny Cueto playing the part of ManRam impostor.
Then, there was the time he actually "moonwalked" out of the batter's box, bringing a smile to even the most jaded of sports enthusiasts.
It wasn't just Ramirez or the fans who lost their minds over a fantastic few months, because the announcers raised their game in tandem.
Bleacher Report's own Zach Rymer sounded off on the home run call that mentioned an "ex-girlfriend who will never return."
Focus Taiwan does mention that Ramirez may be getting homesick, so this could indeed be the end of a wild ride for baseball fans across the world.
If it is the end of his career, he certainly finished on a fantastic note. Per the report, Ramirez hit .352 with eight home runs and 43 RBI in just 49 games.
Still, it was never about the numbers with Ramirez. Any discussion on this baseball great has to include the obvious peripherals that made him a fan favorite as well as a thorn in the side of managers.
We certainly hope the rumors of a Japanese landing are true. If not, we raise our glasses in a toast to the class clown who could really hit.
Let's swap ManRam stories on Twitter: Follow @gabezal
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