Major League Baseball legend Manny Ramirez quit Taiwan’s EDA Rhinos on Wednesday.
The development comes just three months after Ramirez signed with the ballclub, reports Benjamin Yeh of AFP. The 12-time All-Star had boosted attendance in the once-struggling Chinese Professional Baseball League as well as hitting the second-highest number of home runs in the season so far.
“Ramirez told EDA Rhinos his decision today. We’ve tried everything we could to see if he would like to change his mind.”
ESPN also released part of the statement saying the EDA Rhinos wish Ramirez all the best.
“We regret [Ramirez’s] decision to leave Taiwan, but we would also like to wish him all the best for what he has brought to us and to the prosperity for baseball in Taiwan.”
Ramirez said it was his first time to play so far away from home and that he missed his family. Astrid Lee, EDA publicity manager, said Ramirez’s leaving will have an impact and the team will try to offset this.
“Somehow his leaving will have an impact on the team. In order to offset the possible negative influence, we’ll try to recruit some capable foreign players.”
Yeh says the team doubled Ramirez’s salary since April to more than $50,000 and offered him accommodation of two hotel rooms that costs Tw $50,000 ($1,675) per room each day in its bid to make him stay in Taiwan.
Yahoo! Sports notes the hotel room refers to the presidential suite of the hotel owned by the club’s parent company, the E-United Group. Ramirez reportedly stayed with his uncle.
From here, he is rumored to be looking for work in Japan to play for the Chiba Lotte Marines, per Brandon DuBreuil. Focus Taiwan claims Ramirez would make a lot more in Japan should he decide to go for the opportunity.
“Ramirez, who is being paid around $25,000 per month to play in Taiwan, would make far more than that in Japan, if in fact he is heading there to play.”
In 49 games with the EDA Rhinos, Ramirez hit .352 with 43 RBIs and eight home runs, placing him in the top three of all the major offensive statistical categories, according to the Taipei Times.