Manny Ramirez terminated his contract in the Taiwan professional baseball league this week without a deal in place to play anywhere else, yet the former All-Star remains hopeful that he will receive an offer to either once again play in the Major Leagues or in Japan.
"I don't have other offers, but I'm not retiring. I love this game too much as to give it up when I can still play," Ramirez told ESPNdeportes.com. "Dominicans adore playing baseball. Why would I stop playing if I have the conditions to do so?"
The 41-year-old slugger hit .352 with eight homers and 43 RBIs in 49 games with the EDA Rhinos during his time in Taiwan. His contract was set to expire next week, but Ramirez's request to be released from the deal slightly earlier was honored by the club.
"My contract [in Taiwan] ends on June 25, but I decided to finish it a week early to spend time with my family in Taiwan and then wait for an offer from Japan or the United States," Ramirez said, according to ESPNdeportes.com. "Thank the Lord, doors will stay open. The general manager offered me to play or be batting coach. I'm leaving on good terms. I have a plane ticket to return to the U.S. on Monday."
This is just the latest comeback attempt for the 12-time All-Star, who initially retired from baseball in April 2011 following a second violation of MLB's doping policy. He made his first return attempt in 2012 when he signed a Minor League contract with the Athletics.
Ramirez served his 50-game suspension and then went on to hit .302 (19-for-63) with 14 RBIs for Triple-A Sacramento before asking for his release after not receiving a Major League promotion. More recently, he played winter ball in the Dominican Republic last year in hopes of landing a Major League job come spring.
"I don't regret things I did in the past since there's a lesson to learn from every mistake," Ramirez said in the same interview. "Mistakes make us better people, better men. I am pleased to overcome my mistakes."
Ramirez hit .312 with 555 career home runs over 19 Major League seasons with five teams.
Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella.