Behind trendy, white-framed sunglasses with rose-colored lenses, his dreadlocks pulled neatly together with a rubber band, Manny Ramirez walked to the front of the interview room wearing Chicago’s silver and black for the first time.
As he approached the dais, Ramirez adjusted the Velcro straps on his batting gloves.
Make no mistake. He’s here to hit.
“I just want to play baseball,” he said through White Sox bench coach Joey Cora, who served as Ramirez’s translator during a brief news conference bordering on bizarre.
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Already, Manny’s being himself.
Ramirez, whose previous stops in Boston and Los Angeles ended poorly and amid controversy, began the next phase of his colorful career Tuesday when he officially joined the White Sox, who claimed the 12-time All-Star off waivers for the final month of the playoff chase.
Ramirez was not in manager Ozzie Guillen’s starting lineup for Tuesday’s game against Cleveland. Ramirez was weary from an early wake-up call and cross-country flight.
“He was up at 4:30 in the morning,” Guillen said. “That’s reason right there not to play him. … I don’t want to use him (tonight), but if we need him, we will use him.”
Guillen almost did. Ramirez was in the on-deck circle in the ninth inning right before A.J. Pierzynski belted the game-winning three-run homer to beat Cleveland, 4-3.
Doctors have told Twins slugger Justin Morneau to remain at home until Friday as he continues to work his way back from a concussion nearly two months ago. Morneau had been taking swings at Target Field and watching some home games from the dugout in the last few weeks. … Dr. Lewis Yocum will perform ligament-replacement surgery Friday on Nationals rookie ace Stephen Strasburg’s injured right elbow. … The Cleveland Indians activated left-handed pitcher Aaron Laffey, who has been on the disabled list with a tired left shoulder since July 23, and optioned him to Triple-A Columbus. … Pitcher Derek Lowe has received a cortizone injection to deal with a sore right arm but says he should be able to make his next start for the Atlanta Braves.