Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 3/1/12

Manny Ramirez will serve as the Oakland Athletics' designated hitter in their Cactus League opener Friday.

Ramirez, who agreed to a one-year, $500,000 contract in the offseason, is permitted to play in preseason games.

Once the regular season begins, he will have to serve a 50-game suspension for violating baseball's drug policy for a second time.

Ramirez, who will have turned 40 during the time of his suspension, is batting .312 for his career. His 555 home runs place him 14th on the all-time list.

Last year, Ramirez limped to a .059 batting average in five games with the Tampa Bay Rays.

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