Manny: Bad advice led to abrupt retirement
Among many mistakes, OF/DH Manny Ramirez told ESPNdeportes.com he was wrong in abruptly leaving the Rays and retiring after failing a drug test last April without speaking publicly:
"I was badly advised, I took a decision I should not have taken. I should have said something to my fans. I was surrounded by many people who gave me bad advice. I made an emotional decision, but I have regretted that decision since the day I made it.''
Ramirez, 39, sought and has been granted reinstatement by MLB, with his 100-game suspension reduced to 50, which would be served after he signs with a team. He switched agents and has been contacting teams in hopes of getting signed; the Rays are not likely to be interested.
Ramirez also told ESPN he was in better shape now than over the past three seasons: "It took me three years to reach ideal conditioning again. In 2009 due to the suspension, in Chicago, in Tampa, my mechanics were off. Physically I was doing well, but not mentally. Baseball is a mental game. You can have a car with 1,000 horsepower, but if you don't have someone who can drive it, forget it. I am awaiting an opportunity.''
Asked if would consider a minor-league contract, Ramirez said: "If a scout comes by and sees me, sees the shape that I'm in, I can get a big league contract, but the doors are open.''
Then asked if would consider playing in Japan, Ramirez said: "We are the working class and wherever there is work, you must go work."