MLB: Changeup: Manny Ramirez jokes about playing 5 more years
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Manny Ramirez is having fun with those quirky comments about his future.
The enigmatic outfielder caused quite a stir Monday by saying this will be his last year with the Los Angeles Dodgers — and possibly the final season of his career. He was so amused by all the attention his quotes received that he started throwing changeups Tuesday.
Playfully joking with a pair of reporters in the clubhouse, Ramirez said that after he practiced Monday, he felt as though he could play five more years.
"I'll play three more for this team and two more in Japan. Put that in there. I want to see myself on ESPN again," he said.
Dodgers manager Joe Torre wasn't surprised at how much attention Ramirez's comments got Monday.
"All it takes is one particular sentence," Torre said. "And you know Manny. He says a lot of stuff. It's not that he doesn't mean it, but as an outsider looking in, I hope he plays a lot of baseball. He still has a lot to give."
After two spring training workouts, Ramirez appeared to be in a good mood Tuesday. He spent part of the morning showing off an energy drink with a racy label that was sitting in his locker
"He likes to play around, and after all those years in Boston, you try not to take yourself too seriously," Torre said. "But he certainly is a fun-loving guy and he's in a good frame of mind right now. I don't see somebody who is thinking about the drudgery of the season right now."
The 37-year-old Ramirez is heading into his 17th major league season. The 2004 World Series MVP served a 50-game drug suspension last year and batted .290 with 19 home runs and 63 RBIs. He is entering the final year of his contract with Los Angeles.