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USATSI

Manny is going to be Manny Down Under. Even at the age of 48, Manny Ramirez is still making headlines on the diamond and on Thursday, the former Major League Baseball star is set to begin his first season with the Sydney Blue Sox of the Australian Baseball League.

The 12-time All-Star signed with the Blue Sox back in August. His new manager Shane Barclay believes that Ramirez will make a strong impact on the team.

"We knew there'd be a Manny show but it's been a pleasure," Barclay told the Associated Press. "The buy-in from him (Ramirez) has been magnificent and just watching him swing a bat, you're going 'there's no way this guy is 48.' He's an incredible athlete. He's legit and here to play and bought in in every way. He's going to hit some long balls this season."

Ramirez brings nearly two decades of Major League Baseball experience to Australia. The veteran outfielder last played in the MLB back in 2011 as a member of the Oakland Athletics. In 2017, Ramirez played for the Kochi Fighting Dogs of the Japanese Shikoku Island League Plus independent league.

Ramirez, who is currently on the Hall of Fame ballot, won a pair of World Series titles with the Boston Red Sox and offers plenty of experience to a Blue Sox team that won just five of their 22 games last season.

"The culture that has been created this year is five steps up (on last season)," Barclay said. "It doesn't win you an ABL trophy but it gives us the foundation we need to be knocking on the door most years. We're a new club."