Manny Ramirez might play winter ball

ORLANDO -- Manny Ramirez could be coming out of retirement in due time, playing winter ball for the Aguilas Cibaenas in the Dominican Republic.

Making his usual uncompromising statements, Ramirez has been hinting that he might get back on the field in a series of text messages.

"Now I'm getting ready to defend the 21st crown of the Aguilas," Ramirez told ESPNdeportes.com on Thursday.

Ramirez has refused to answer questions about leaving the Tampa Bay Rays and Major League Baseball behind in early April because of a positive result that violated the league's drug policy.

"Tell the fans to not despair because winter ball is coming soon," said Ramirez in a message four days after his sudden retirement from baseball.

"Now I have an Aguilas hat," Ramirez wrote on April 11, three days after announcing his retirement.

However, Ramirez has not made any arrangements yet to play Caribbean baseball.

"We have not had any direct contact with Manny, but for us it would be great if he comes back so that the Dominican fans can see him before his definite retirement from baseball," said Luichy Sanchez from the office of baseball operations of the Aguilas.

Ramirez, 38, played three seasons with the Aguilas in the beginning of his professional career, between 1991 and 1995. He hit .243 with two home runs, 15 doubles, 28 RBIs and 38 runs scored in 84 games.

"Now I'm fishing and playing golf in Miami," said Ramirez in another message. "I bought a truck and a fishing rod. Now you'll find me buying worms to relax my hands by going fishing."

Enrique Rojas is a reporter and columnist for ESPNdeportes.com and ESPN.com.