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Ramirez reports to Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate

FILE - In this March 12, 2013 file photo, former Major League Baseball star Manny Ramirez poses for media wearing his new jersey after signing a short-term contract to play on the EDA Rhinos in Taiwan's professional baseball league,  in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The Texas Rangers have signed Ramirez to minor league contract. Ramirez spent three months playing in Taiwan before leaving the team on June 20. The Rangers made the announcement Wednesday, July 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Wally Santana, File)

FILE - In this March 12, 2013 file photo, former Major League Baseball star Manny Ramirez poses for media wearing his new jersey after signing a short-term contract to play on the EDA Rhinos in Taiwan's professional baseball league, in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The Texas Rangers have signed Ramirez to minor league contract. Ramirez spent three months playing in Taiwan before leaving the team on June 20. The Rangers made the announcement Wednesday, July 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Wally Santana, File)

Reporting for duty

Manny Ramirez reported to the Texas Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate yesterday and said he could play as early as Sunday.

The Rangers agreed to terms on a minor league contract on Wednesday with the 41-year-old slugger, who hasn’t played in the big leagues since 2011 with Tampa Bay.

Ramirez worked out with the Round Rock Express and told reporters he hopes to play Sunday or Monday.

“The expectation is to come here and play the game,” Ramirez said. “Then hopefully I can move on and do what I always do.”

Ramirez has twice been suspended for testing positive for banned drugs. The 12-time All-Star was suspended 50 games in 2009 while with the Dodgers after testing positive for a banned drug. He retired in April 2011 instead of serving a 100-game ban for a second positive test, but later agreed to a reduced 50-game suspension and played in the minors for Oakland in 2012.

“You have to go through the fire first,” Ramirez said. “When you come out, that’s when the blessing comes.”

A lifetime .312 hitter, Ramirez is 14th on the career home runs list with 555.

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