The Kochi Fighting Dogs of Japan Independent League announced the contract with Manny Ramirez in January 8. In December 2016, Ramirez has offered to join the Fighting Dogs. So the Fighting Dogs have negotiated with him and contracted in Miami this day. His contract period is 3 months and annual salary is unknown. He will come to Japan with his wife in March. And his uniform number is 99.
Manny Ramirez ’s biography is that he’s the age of 44, and he was born at dominican republic. He moved to New York at the age of 13 and began to playing baseball. He was selected 13th overall by the Cleveland Indians in the 1991 MLB draft. He had played in the minor leagues of the Cleveland Indians and debuted in the Major League Baseball in 1993 season.
After that his success as you know. In 1999, his season stats was 165 RBIs and he became a RBI leader. Ramirez transferred to the Boston Red Sox in 2001 and became a batting leader (2002) and a HR leader (2004). So he contributed to winning the World Series of Red Sox, and his total stats was 312. average, 555 home runs and 1831 RBIs in MLB.
Manny Ramirez was not good at defense, he was playing with left fielder or designated hitter. Then he played with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays since 2008. But Manny failed the doping test 2 times, he was suspended from competition for total 150 games on a drug ban.
It is not the first time Ramirez tried to transferred the Japan team. In 2011 off season, he tried out for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) but he failed. After that he played in the EDA Rhinos (Now the Fubon Guardians) of the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan on 2013, and he stopped at Japan after leaving the Rhinos. Probably he was aiming for a contract with a Japanese team.
The kochi Fighting Dogs belong to the Island League that is the independent league in Japan. The Island League consists of 4 teams and the game is taking place in the Shikoku region. The name of team derives from Kōchi’s well-known dog fighting tradition. However there are hundreds of spectators in one game, so Ramirez’s annual salary will be tens of thousands dollars.
In the Fighting Dogs, the Chiba Lotte Marines Katsuya Kakunaka had played. He was drafted by the Marines in the 7th round in 2006 npb draft. Kakunaka participated actively in NPB and became the batting leader twice. In addition, former Texas Rangers Kyuji Fujikawa played in the Fighting Dogs on 2015. His stats was 2 wins, 1 loss and an ERA of 0.82 and he transferred to the Hanshin Tigers of NPB. Then the Fighting Dogs are also playing with the NPB team, so there is also a slight possibility that Ramirez will play in the NPB team in the future.
This youtube’s video is the Ramirez’s home run in 2007 American League Division Series. He played an active part in the post season many time and got the MVP in 2004 World Series. Then the Fighting Dogs’s games are relayed only on regional television, the fans can not watch in Tokyo. So let’s go to Kochi once to see his play!