Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 10/15/14
Hey, why not, right? The Rangers didn’t drastically improve by signing Manny Ramirez to a minor league contract. The decision doesn’t have much downside, though, so it’s hard to fault Texas for taking a flyer on the 41-year-old slugger. If there’s one thing that we can say with certainty, it’s that Texas got older and more entertaining. Beyond that, the Rangers are simply hoping — perhaps blindly — that Ramirez can carry some of the success he enjoyed overseas back to the United States just in time for the stretch run. Will Manny lead the Rangers to a division title and a deep playoff run? It’s highly unlikely. But he could become a serviceable backup and contribute if Lance Berkman‘s season goes downhill. And that possibility itself — however slim it may be — is enough to warrant a low-risk, minor league deal. Ramirez hasn’t exactly been playing against top-notch competition, so he’ll need to continue proving himself upon joining Triple-A Round Rock. There isn’t a whole lot separating Ramirez and major league at-bats, though, as Berkman batted below .200 for June and tweaked his surgically repaired knee last Thursday. We can debate what Ramirez will do if and when he receives those major league at-bats, but the Rangers would rather have a minor Manny gamble fail in front of their faces than watch him produce elsewhere. “We’ll evaluate him as we go,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. “No deadlines, no end dates. If he’s productive and we feel he fits our culture in the clubhouse, then we’ll give him an opportunity. If either of those ends don’t pan out, then no harm, no foul.” That’s the perfect mindset to have going into this type of pact. Daniels seems to recognize that there will always be extra baggage associated with Ramirez and that the former All-Star’s skills have greatly diminished, yet he’s willing to think outside the box in the hopes of catching lightning in a bottle. Ramirez smashed baseballs all over Taiwan for 49 games. He hit .352 with eight home runs and 43 RBIs, and, according to agent Barry Praver, he “invigorated” the Chinese Professional Baseball League. That has to count for something, even if it just proves that Ramirez isn’t some overweight slouch who is suddenly getting the big league itch after months of watching day-time TV. One thing that Ramirez was always unfairly accused of was not caring about the game. There was this sense that his wacky antics reflected a low baseball IQ and that he would always march to the beat of his own drum. Well, while Ramirez is by no means a model citizen, we’re actually witnessing a late glimpse of maturity from one of the most polarizing players of all time. Ramirez clearly wasn’t chasing the money in Taiwan, and he isn’t going to fall into any more big paydays in the majors. That means his desire to return stems from a legitimate passion for the game, even if it’ll always be masqueraded by the whole “Manny being Manny” persona. Ramirez is 41 years old. He hasn’t played in the majors since 2011, he hasn’t been a productive major leaguer since 2010 and he probably can’t play the field any more. There’s a good chance that his MLB return never gets off the ground, especially given the history — or lack thereof — of players over 40 producing at a high level. But who cares? Throw it all out. Ramirez needed to find a team that was willing to take a carefree approach, and he found one in Arlington. Let’s just see what happens. Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here. Photo via Facebook/Manny Ramirez
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Kobe has prevented Lakers from signing top talent

Red Sox may be ready to move Yoenis Cespedes

Alleged details of War Machine's suicide letter released

Austin Davis says Rams security didn't recognize him

LeBron: Bulls are 'much better' than Cavs right now

Redskins to stick with Colt McCoy over Kirk Cousins

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rick Pitino: Louisville will beat FSU in football

Report: Rams considered favorites to move to LA

Kobe to Julius Randle: You’re an idiot if you (expletive) this up

Slava Voynov arrested on D.V. charge, suspended indefinitely

Report: Ray Rice could be reinstated within next month

Earl Thomas: Refs need to stay out of it and let us dominate

Lane Kiffin trashed in Tennessee political ad

WATCH: Lawrence Timmons throws up on field during MNF

10 NBA players who could be traded by the All-Star break

WATCH: Jimbo Fisher gets annoyed, cuts interview short

WATCH: Les Miles has classic reaction to dumb question

WATCH: Tennessee coach tried to trip Ole Miss player?

News station congratulates Gary Payton for breaking TD record

Did Sidney Crosby troll Flyers fans with Halloween costume?

Why Dan Mullen is not leaving Mississippi State

12 amazing stats from Week 7

World Series preview: Will Giants or Royals win it all?

NFL tweets graphic of recipients of Manning's 509 TD passes

Rangers News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Lane Kiffin trashed in political ad

Details of War Machine's suicide letter leaked

Angry Jimbo Fisher cuts off interview

Is Kobe's deal hurting the Lakers?

Tenn. coach tried to trip Ole Miss CB?

GGG continues his reign of terror

The 6 things that mattered this weekend in the premier league

News station congratulates Gary Payton for TD record

Ray Rice could be back by Week 10?

12 amazing stats from Week 7

World Series preview

Favre: I got calls about playing last season

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.