Manny Ramirez has been drug tested just four games into his stint with Triple-A Round Rock.
Of course, that’s random drug testing to you. The 41-year-old was required to submit a urine sample along with each player not on the 40-man major league roster, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram.
The Texas Rangers signed the 12-time All-Star Ramirez to a minor league contract just last week. Rangers’ CEO Nolan Ryan said signing Ramirez is a “shot worth taking,” but it remains to be seen if his on-field performance will outweigh the distractions that come from Manny being Manny.
As a two-time offender of MLB’s drug policy, Ramirez clearly had a target on his back upon his return to American soil. Following a short stint in Taiwan playing for the EDA Rhinos, Manny’s midseason signing has clearly sent up some red flags in MLB’s front office.
They’ve wasted no time in finding out if Manny is clean. Former Red Sox teammate David Ortiz said that Ramirez is a “totally new person,” according to NESN. “I’m really happy for him and happy for his family and the way he is doing things now," Ortiz added.
The results of the drug test should provide some clue to whether there’s any validity to Ortiz’s comments.
In four games as Round Rock's designated hitter, Ramirez is hitting .250 with a .900 OPS. He hit a two-run home run in just his third game.