Manny Ramirez grabbed the recorder, walked up to Iowa teammate Carlos Pimentel and started asking questions.
The recorder was not on and the conversation was mostly in Spanish filled with jokes, but Pimentel still wanted no part of an interview even if it came from his new famous teammate.
Ninety minutes later, Ramirez was on the field taking batting practice with four teammates working on hitting the ball to the opposite field. He was quick to offer pointers alongside manager Marty Pevey and quick to offer a laugh.
It’s the new life for the happy-go-lucky Ramirez in his return to baseball as a player/coach for the Iowa Cubs, who opened a three-game set with the Oklahoma City RedHawks on Friday.
“It’s awesome, bro,” Ramirez said. “I’m here and I’m doing something that I love. I’m enjoying myself, because I knew how to enjoy myself in the big leagues and I know how to enjoy myself here.
“I know my role here. I’m going to play once a week. Just come in and help out with anything I see with the guys.”
Ramirez made headlines last week when he joined the club, but this doesn’t appear to just be another case of Manny being Manny.
This appears to be a different Manny.
With little expectation of significant playing time, Ramirez is enjoying the role of mentor for young, talented prospects like third baseman Kris Bryant and shortstop Javier Baez.
“We’re trying to learn a lot from him and he’s been great with us because everybody wants to learn from him,” said Baez, the youngest player in the Pacific Coast League at 21 years old. “When we go to the cage and we try to work on everything, we do his routine. We get on the curveball machine and the fastball machine.”