The Texas Rangers announced earlier today the signing of veteran outfielder/space cadet Manny Ramirez to a minor league contract. Ramirez, most recently of Taiwan’s ED Rhinos, signed a one-year deal with Oakland in 2012, but managed just 16 singles and 3 doubles in 17 games with the A’s Sacramento affiliate before being cut.
It was during that short tenure in the Pacific Coast League that I graciously composed the following for Manny, knowing that he’d be visiting my neck of the woods. His stay in Round Rock should be a little longer than 3 days this time, but that’s hardly guaranteed. From CSTB, May 21, 2012 :
(possibly the only Manny who’d find himself less welcome in Round Rock, TX)
If a few hundred more fans than usual fill the stands at the Round Rock Express’ Dell Diamond tonight, it might have something to do with the presence of Manny Ramirez in the starting lineup for the visiting Sacramento River Cats (PCL, AAA). Ramirez, preparing to make his Oakland A’s debut after serving a 50 game suspension for PED usage, is not unaccustomed to enjoying the minor league experience. Since he’ll be spending a few days in Williamson County — just a stone’s throw (well, 35 minutes in shitty traffic) from CSTB HQ —- I thought it might be proper to offer some guidance on the amazing,world-class city that is Round Rock, TX.
1) HEB PLUS.
This is the biggest supermarket I’ve ever visited. They’ve got an impressive “ethnic foods” department, so if Manny needs matzoh, he’s in luck.
PROS : Fully stocked pharmacy, open til 9pm
CONS : If Manny’s wearing a hoodie, he might get shot.
LRW is almost certainly one of the region’s top 250 burger establishments, and compared to the fare on offer at the Dell Diamond, Manny is far less likely to encounter food poisoning.
PROS : Several 2-3 star reviews on Yelp. Withing walking distance from HEB Plus’ pharmacy.
CONS : if Manny is seen leaving the establishment wearing a hoodie, he might be shot.
Manny will be spending a lot of time at the Emeryville, CA location, but what better way to get an early start on picking out new furniture than in the relatively calm shopping environment of the Round Rock Ikea?
PROS : Within walking distance of the Round Rock Factory Outlets
CONS : Pretty good chance Manny is getting tased in the parking lot, hoodie or not.
Chances are, Manny’s already made plans to take his River Kings teammates out for an afternoon on the links.
PROS : “This 18 hole Clifton-Ezell-Clifton design has captured the hill country beauty with views that reach 30 miles to the west. The rolling hills provide a challenging 7,200-yard layout whose 5 different tees will challenge golfers of all ages and abilities. ”
CONS : Are you kidding? They’ve got snipers on the clubhouse roof, ready and waiting.
5) Guided tour of the SST Warehouse in nearby Taylor, TX
I realize basketball is more up Greg Ginn’s alley, but I’d like to think one deeply misunderstood icon would welcome another with open arms. And perhaps Manny can snag a copy of B’last’s ‘Take The Manic Ride’?
PROS : Having earned more than $200 million in his baseball career, Ramirez might be looking to diversify his portfolio. And what could be a better investment than SST’s exciting new projects?
CONS : Have you heard B’last’s ‘Take The Manic Ride’?
And that’s pretty much it. Once upon a time, Manny could’ve sought out free wifi at Sandoro’s Coffeehouse & Cafe, but that’s no longer an option.