Former MLB great Manny Ramirez has signed a contract unlike any other, with a Japanese baseball team.
According to The Boston Globe:
Manny Ramirez has arrived in Japan for spring training with the independent league Kochi Island Fighting Dogs, and the initial details of the 44-year-old’s interest in continuing his playing career are … fascinating. At a press conference at which his No. 99 jersey (identifying him simply as “Manny”), a translated summary of the proceedings on the Yakyudb.com website reveals that: 1) Ramirez will have use of a Mercedes and driver; 2) Practices are optional for him; 3) He’ll get a hotel suite on the road; and 4) He will receive unlimited sushi for the entire season.
According to multiple websites (filtered through Google translate), Ramirez suggested that he was motivated to resume his playing career in Japan out of his love of the game and desire to share that passion with the fans of Japan.
Allen Iverson would appreciate the practice stipulations involved here. At the age of 45, Ramirez will be lucky to make it to the games. So, practice becomes more luxury than necessity. Unlimited sushi is a shrewd move. Of all the foods that one could choose to consume in unlimited quantities, sushi ranks in the top three, in my book anyway. Unlimited donuts and meatballs would also have been strong contract stipulations. But hey, when in Japan…
However, as pointed out in Barstool Sports, how about the power move of insisting that the team pick you up in a Mercedes? Most star athletes would have been fine merely getting a driver in the first place. Yet, Ramirez blocks the Fighting Dogs from sending an intern in a Japanese compact car.
Well, played Manny. Well played.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter: @themightygwinn