The Chicago Cubs have hired Manny Ramirez as a player-coach for their Triple-A affiliate, the Iowa Cubs. Yes, really.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, who had a working relationship with Ramirez when they were both working for the Red Sox, announced the hire on the Cubs' website. Epstein said that Ramirez "will coach full-time and play part-time in a limited role that does not take at-bats away from our prospects." So, the emphasis is on helping hitters more than hitting.

Another one of Ramirez's responsibilities, according to the press release:

My focus will be on working with the young hitters, making sure they don't make the same mistakes I made, and helping the team any way I can.


Ramirez's last brush with baseball came last July, when the Texas Rangers signed him to a minor league deal. He only lasted a month, though. Now, the 41-year-old will focus more on helping develop minor leaguers and maybe start a coaching career. It's a bit odd to think of the goes-at-his-own-pace Ramirez as a guy who will inspire other players, but more power to him.


Photo: AP