Manny Ramirez leaves Sydney Blue Sox as Australian baseball begins

Former Boston Red Sox player Manny Ramirez. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Former Boston Red Sox player Manny Ramirez. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Manny Ramirez won’t be playing in the Australian Baseball League, for now.

As we prepare to bunker in for a long winter here in the United States, baseball is just getting underway across the globe in Australia. The 2020-2021 season just kicked off this week, a season which was supposed to see one of the more prominent baseball players to take the field in the ABL, 19-year MLB veteran Manny Ramirez.

At 48 years of age, the two-time World Series champion and 12-time MLB All-Star decided to lace up the cleats one more time, joining the Sydney Blue Sox of the Australian Baseball League for the upcoming season.

Unfortunately, his attempt to knock out a few more home runs while playing in his fourth different continent across his pro career has been paused before it even started.

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As announced by the Sydney Blue Sox, Manny Ramirez will be unavailable to play until further notice due to an undisclosed medical reason. The official press release notes that the medical condition is not COVID-19 related.

It doesn’t completely shut the door on the possibility of Ramirez suiting up at some point this season, but a shorter season in the ABL doesn’t leave him with a lot of time to get back out on the field.

From a sudden boost in fan engagement to an intrigued audience here in the United States, and even jumping in the local Sydney community by organizing youth baseball camps, the Sydney Blue Sox and ABL were hoping for a positive Manny Ramirez effect, but will now be forced to do what 2020 taught us all to do, roll with the constant punches.

The Blue Sox have already lost a few other players who were supposed to make an impact this year due to strict Australian COVID protocols and MLB teams pulling their prospects back, including Australian-native Alexander Wells, the 19th-ranked prospect of the Baltimore Orioles who will likely find his way into the major leagues next year.

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For now, the Manny Ramirez show is over. Hopefully, it’s nothing serious and he can make his Australian debut at some point this winter.