Manny Ramirez sits out the bench before a game with the Sacramento RiverCats,… (Jake Schoellkopf / Associated…)
Don't break out the dreadlock wig just yet — it looks as if Manny Ramirez's debut with the Oakland Athletics will be delayed.
The former Dodgers slugger probably will not make his debut with the Athletics this week even though his 50-game suspension for violating baseball's drug policy a second time officially ends following Oakland's game against Minnesota on Wednesday.
Oakland assistant general manager David Frost says Ramirez will remain at the team's Triple-A affiliate in Sacramento until the club is confident he is major-league ready. But Frost gave no timetable as to when that might be, saying they want to make sure Ramirez will stay with the team for the remainder of the season once he's promoted.
But will Ramirez be major-league ready? After all, he struggled mightily with the Dodgers, White Sox and Rays before a second violation of Major League Baseball's drug policy forced him to find refuge in a temporary retirement.
In nine games with Sacramento, Ramirez is batting .250 with four RBIs, seven strikeouts and three walks. He's still waiting for his first home run and extra-base hit.
At 40 years old (Ramirez's birthday is Wednesday), it looks like his best days are well behind him. But can he provide something to a stale Oakland offense that ranks last in the majors in batting average (.211)?