On Wednesday, Ramirez will trade in his Dodger blues for the oversized shin guards worn by cricketers around the world. According to Tony Jackson of the Los Angeles Daily News (who has some seriously irrational hatred for cricket and people who enjoy it), Ramirez will get tips from the Australian player Shaun Marsh before facing a cricket pitcher in a promotional event for DirecTV's cricket coverage.
It would be easy to get upset about Ramirez goofing around at such events right after he was shut down for a week by the Dodgers, but isn't it more fun to close your eyes and picture Ramirez actually playing cricket? Manny barely knows the rules of baseball, so putting him into a whole new sport with it's own rhythms and regulations is really a gift that could keep on giving.
Back when Manny was searching for a team for the 2009 season, we did a little series called Manny Being Choosey which had some fun with alternative career paths for the dreadlocked one. None of us anticipated that cricket could be the thing that captured his passion, but maybe it will be the thing. Curveballs offer him no challenge, after all, perhaps the wicked googlys of the international cricket circuit will be the thing that makes Manny fully engage for the first time in his life.
Alas, it probably won't be more than a few hours of laughs and, fingers crossed, fodder for a couple of amusing photographs. Now if we could just get Dustin Pedroia to give sumo wrestling a try.