Manny Ramirez was perhaps the finest right-handed hitter you or I have ever seen. That lengthy history of excellence entitles a guy to certain things, like all the sushi he can eat.
The 44-year-old Ramirez is still living the dream, camping out in spring training with the Kochi Island Fighting Dogs of the Japanese Independent League. It might not be the highest level of Japanese baseball, but that doesn't mean Ramirez will be living like a pauper. The website yakyudb.com got ahold of many of the details of his contract with the Fighting Dogs, and some of the fringe benefit clauses are so delightfully Manny. For example:
- The back of Manny's jersey will identify him simply as "Manny." Manny was concerned that fans might confuse him with longtime Japanese leaguer Alex Ramirez.
- "He has been promised all the sushi he wants to eat while he is with the team."
- Manny has been given use of a Mercedes Benz. Team staff will drive him around.
- Practices are optional for Manny.
- Manny will be provided a suite while on the road.
Ramirez has already taken a few rounds of batting practice with the Fighting Dogs and he's been guaranteed the DH spot and two at-bats a game. He did not play in their first exhibition game against Kochi University, but he did stay and watch the game for the first five innings. He probably had somewhere to be—that sushi isn't going to eat itself, after all.