Baseball / Sports

Manny Ramirez reports to Iowa Thursday

Manny Ramirez will make his debut as player-coach with the Chicago Cubs' Triple-Iowa affiliate on Thursday at Colorado Springs.

Ramirez, 42, has spent most of the past three weeks working out at the Cubs' facility in Mesa, Ariz., in preparation for his new assignment.

Ramirez signed a contract with the Cubs on May 25. Ramirez has an association with Cubs President Theo Epstein dating back to their days with the Boston Red Sox 11 years ago.

Ramirez is a 12-time All-Star who has a lifetime batting average of .312 with 555 home runs, but twice has been in violation of Major League Baseball's drug testing policy.

Ramirez batted .259 with three home runs in 30 games for the Texas Rangers' Triple-A Round Rock affiliate last summer.

To make room for Ramirez, Iowa released outfielder Casper Wells, who batted .197 with two doubles in 26 games since joining the team from extended spring training on May 19.

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