From Comcast SportsNetPHOENIX (AP) -- Manny Ramirez arrived at the Oakland Athletics training facility Friday amid a curious group of reporters and players to begin his return to baseball. After taking batting practice, in which he hit at least seven home runs off A's coach Mike Gallego, Ramirez addressed the media accompanied by his wife, Juliana, and two sons, Manny Jr. and Lucas. "I made some mistakes and I want to show my children I can correct them," Ramirez said. "Every Thursday morning my wife and I went to church, kneeled down and prayed. I am blessed to have this opportunity again." The 12-time All-Star signed a minor league deal with the A's on Monday that's worth 500,000 if he's added to the big league roster. He will be allowed to participate in spring training games and the exhibition games scheduled in Japan, but must serve a 50-game suspension for his second positive drug test before he can play in the regular season for Oakland. Ramirez had retired from the Tampa Bay Rays last season rather than serve a 100-game suspension. "I'm thankful that I have a job," Ramirez said. "At least I can still play baseball in the minor leagues and work on things." Ramirez said he has no expectations other than to "show people I can still play." A's manager Bob Melvin said someone of his stature could influence the rest of the team. "He can be a great example with his work ethic," Melvin said. "We have some young kids and, who knows, maybe something will rub off." Ramirez is 14th on baseball's all-time home run list with 555 and 18th on the all-time RBIs list with 1,831. He's a career .312 hitter. "I think guys are excited to see what Manny Ramirez is all about," Melvin said.
Manny Ramirez eager to prove himself with A's
February 24, 2012, 6:49 pm