Ramirez to be “Player-Coach” for Triple A club

Although he has not played any ball since 2011, the Chicago Cubs have named 12-time All star and former slugger Manny Ramirez in to coach their triple A squad.  Cubs President Theo Epstein said that the move was not a publicity stunt.

He’s extremely accountable,” Epstein told reporters. “Right now, he’s extremely honest, and he has a lot to offer in part because of what he went through. You never know in this world. But I think there’s a potential high impact here.

“If he can influence one player, make them a little bit calmer in the box, give them a little better approach to hitting, teach them something about how to approach the right-handed breaking ball the right way, if he can convince one player not to do PEDs [performance-enhancing drugs], if he can influence one player the right way and in a positive way, then it was worthwhile.”

The Cubs hope the move will help their young prospects.


Cubs fall to Pirates

Neil Walker led off in the 10th inning with a home run off of  pitcher Carlos Villanueva to beat the Cubs 1-0 Tuesday night at PNC Park.  It was Walkers first walk-off of his career and the it the first for the Pirates on opening day since Bob Bailey homered off San Francisco’s Juan Marichal in a 1-0, 10-inning victory in 1965.

”This one feels pretty special,” Walker said. ”This is a special day for this team, this organization. We’ve come a long way.”

Before the game, former Pirate Barry Bonds presented centerfielder Andrew McCutchen with the NL MVP award that McCutchen earned last year.  The Cubbies will have two more opportunities against the Pirates as they play on Wednesday and Thursday.

Be sure to get your tickets to the next Cubs home game against the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday. Great seats are still available.